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Cannabis crime wave boosts banking prospects on Capitol Hill

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Weed businesses struggle to bank in the U.S., leaving cash on the premises.

Jordan Brown, a 29-year-old budtender, was shot and killed on March 19 during his shift at World of Weed in Tacoma, Wash.

Joshua Chase, owner of Oakanna in Oakland, was shot in the foot in the early hours of April 24.

Brian Garcia, 28, was shot and killed less than two weeks ago in a dispensary in Los Angeles.

All three men were shot during confirmed or suspected robberies of cannabis shops. Industry officials and state lawmakers say crimes against those businesses have increased in recent years due to the large amount of cash they are often required to keep on hand, since federal restrictions discourage banks from doing business with them.

Exact numbers are difficult to pin down, but in Washington state alone officials say there were more than 50 armed robberies of cannabis stores in the first two months of 2022 — a greater number than in all of 2020 or 2021.

“The time for congressional dithering on this issue needs to end, because people are dying,” Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti said in an interview. “Robbers go where the cash is.”

Now, this wave of robberies and deaths may shift the outlook on Capitol Hill for legislation that would make it easier for cannabis companies to open bank accounts and apply for small business loans. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) — the third-ranking Senate Democrat — recently stated that cannabis banking is a top priority for her in negotiations over a China competition bill. The American Bankers Association and all 50 state banking associations cited public safety concerns in a recent letter to Senate leaders urging its inclusion. [Read More @ Politico]

See also  New cannabis stores, marijuana tours, and protecting pets from pot on Illinois legislative agenda, but social equity remains a big issue

The post Cannabis crime wave boosts banking prospects on Capitol Hill appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.

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