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House approves bill to permit cannabis industry use of banking services

By David Wildstein, September 25 2019 9:09 pm

Legislation that would allow cannabis companies access to banking services in states where weed is legal was approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

New Jersey’s House delegation approved the bill along party lines, with only Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), the lone Republican congressman from New Jersey, voting against the measure.

“This is a historic day for the country. The House has wisely chosen to make the process of starting and maintaining a cannabis business easier, in turn providing a boost for medical cannabis and legalization efforts,” said Scott Rudder, a former Republican assemblyman who is now the president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.  “This is not only smart policy but will help create jobs and economic development.”

The House passed the measure 321 to 103, with 91 Republicans also supporting the bill.  Just one Democrat voted no.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Democrat Cory Booker criticized the House version for not including any requirements to address social equity and fairness in the criminal justice system.

“We can and must do more,” Booker said.  “It’s simply not enough as it stands without reinvestment in communities most hurt by the failed drug war and while people of color are left to languish in federal prisons for marijuana-related offenses.”

Booker said the bill could address the need for the cannabis industry to be treated like any other business while providing “real restorative justice for those most harmed by the failed War on Drugs.”

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