Banks that serve legal cannabis businesses in New Jersey won't have to worry about being sanctioned under state laws. Marijuana Moment reported that a bill to give them protections is advancing through the state legislature.
The bill from Assemblymember Verlina Reynolds-Jackson was approved by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on Monday, which would protect banks and insurers from being penalized for collaborating with the marijuana business.
The piece of legislation would not protect banks from being penalized under federal law.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter D-CO, House sponsor of the cannabis banking measure, said recently that he believes that Congress will pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement SAFE Banking Act with the Senate moving during the lame-duck session.
The optimist says, we're going to get it done.'' There are several ways we can do it, said Perlmutter, who said that banking reform could be enacted through a larger vehicle like the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA or omnibus appropriations legislation.
The panel's vice chair said at Monday's hearing that bills like Reynolds-Jackson's give people a false sense of security.
A state agency would not be allowed to prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage a business associate of a legitimate cannabis-related business from providing financial or insurance services to a legitimate cannabis-related business. They would not be allowed to recommend or encourage a financial institution or insurer not to offer financial or insurance services to an account holder, or downgrade or cancel services provided to the account holder, unless the account holder is a legitimate cannabis-related business or business associate of a legitimate cannabis-related business. The text said that no financial institution or insurer, or the directors, officers, employees, agents, owners, shareholders, or members of a financial institution or insurer, shall be subject to a criminal prosecution, sanction or claim for damages or any equitable remedy, only because the institution or insurer is providing financial or insurance services to a legitimate cannabis-related business or business associates of a legitimate cannabis-related business.
On April 21 of this year, New Jersey kicked off long-awaited recreational cannabis sales.
Since then, the state has hosted events like the 420 Expo, New Jersey's first BYOC Bring Your Own Cannabis consumer expo, numerous trade shows and B 2 B networking events, and has opened nearly two dozen cannabis shops.
New Jersey consumers are one step closer to enjoying the benefits of cannabis consumption in public areas as regulators approved a set of rules for businesses seeking to operate them.