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California Senate Passes Bill Allowing State-Chartered Cannabis Banks

May 23, 2019, 09:00 AM
Filed Under: Cannabis
Related: Banking, Cannabis

The California Senate voted almost unanimously to pass a bill that would allow banks and credit unions to accept deposits and provide other banking services from cannabis retailers.

This bill, which was referred out of committee on May 16, passed the Senate yesterday with only a single no vote. It would create the Cannabis Limited Charter Banking and Credit Union Law, to be administered by the Commissioner of Business Oversight and the Department of Business Oversight.

The bill would create the Cannabis Limited Charter Bank and Credit Union Advisory Board and specify its composition, to include the Treasurer, the Controller, and the Chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and commit to it the general responsibility for ensuring that this law functions in a safe and efficient way. It would also provide for the licensure and regulation of cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions for the purpose of providing banking services, as defined, to cannabis businesses.

“As policymakers, we have a duty to further the will of the voters while protecting public safety. We can’t sit by while the safety of legal business owners, their employees, and the general public are put at risk. SB 51 represents a first step in getting cannabis cash off the street and integrating these legal businesses into our economy,” said Senator Bob Hertzberg, the bill's sponsor.

The legislation will now be considered by the California State Assembly.

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