Attorney General Ford Cosponsors Congressional Letter to Pass Legislation Allowing Marijuana-Related Business to Access the Banking System

May 8, 2019

Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford cosponsored a letter urging Congress to pass the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) or similar measures that would give legal marijuana-related businesses access to the federal banking system. AG Ford is joined by a bipartisan coalition of 37 state and territorial attorneys general in this actio

    Under existing law, federal regulators prohibit financial institutions from providing services to marijuana businesses in states where medical or retail marijuana sales are legal. Forcing legal businesses to operate as cash-only operations poses serious safety threats, creating targets for violent and white-collar crime. The SAFE Banking Act permits marijuana-related businesses in states and territories with existing regulatory structures to access the federal banking system.

      "I have a strong interest in protecting public safety, and am proud to cosponsor this letter urging Congress to advance legislation that would allow states like Nevada that have legalized use of marijuana to bring that commerce into the banking system," said AG Ford.  "As one of 33 states that has legalized the use of marijuana, this legislation would enable law enforcement, tax agencies and regulators to more effectively monitor local marijuana businesses and their transactions."

        The SAFE Banking Act has widespread, bipartisan support with 172 cosponsors in the U.S. House, including Nevada Representatives Steven Horsford, Susie Lee and Dina Titus. The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill in March and now it awaits a vote by the full House. Nevada Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen co-sponsored a similar bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate.

          With the backing of 38 of the nation's Attorneys General, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has chosen to endorse the legislation as one of its official policy positions. Historically, NAAG endorses less than a dozen policies a year.

            In addition to Nevada, other state and territorial attorneys general who have signed onto this letter include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

              The issued letter is attached.