Gov. Whitmer joins bipartisan letter calling for marijuana regulations

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Financial institutions might be getting the opportunity to bank with cannabis businesses, according to new efforts made by the Michigan government.

In a letter signed Friday, Gov. Whitmer and a bipartisan coalition of 19 governors called on congressional leadership to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would remove legal limitations and allow financial institutions to bank with state-licensed cannabis businesses.

"Michiganders turned out in historic numbers in this last election to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and we must respect the will of the voters," Whitmer said. "There is an inherent danger for businesses operating in an all-cash business because financial institutions are unable to accept the risks and penalties associated with providing service to this industry under current law. This letter sends a clear message to congress that our states are looking for a real solution to a real problem, and we support them to get this done."

Currently, financial institutions are not allowed to accept cash, checks or electronic payments from cannabis businesses under the Controlled Substances Act, leaving marijuana businesses in 34 states, and recreational marijuana businesses in 10 states, with limited to no option for banking.

The governor has taken steps to implement the new recreational marijuana law after voter legalized marijuana in the last election, including signing an executive order to establish the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

The agency is responsible for creating a framework for implementation and regulation of the state's new marijuana laws.

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