- About About
Medical Patient Resources Cannabis Care Certification Patient's Guide to Medical Cannabis Patient's Guide to CBD Talking to your doctor Become a Legal Medical Marijuana Patient The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel Guide to Using Medical Cannabis Cannabis Tincture, Salve, Butter and Oil Recipes Arthritis and Medical Cannabis Cancer and Medical Cannabis Chronic Pain and Medical Cannabis Gastrointestinal Disorders and Medical Cannabis HIV/AIDS and Medical Cannabis Movement Disorders and Medical Cannabis Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Cannabis Aging and Medical Cannabis Veterans and Medical Cannabis Medical Marijuana Conditions in Your Area Growing Cannabis Tracking Treatment & Gathering Data with Releaf App Medical Professional Resources Medical Cannabis Continuing Medical Education (CME) Cannabis Safety Medical Cannabis Research
- Legal Legal
Advocacy ASA Chapters Start an ASA Chapter Take Action Campaigns No Patient Left Behind End Pain, Not Lives Vote Medical Marijuana Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center Resources for Tabling and Lobby Days Strategic Planning Civics 101 Strategic Messaging Citizen Lobbying Participating in Implementation Movement Building Organizing a Demonstration Organizing Turnout for Civic Meetings Public Speaking Media 101 Patient's History of Medical Cannabis
Policy Policy Positions Model Federal Legislation Download Ending The Federal Conflict Public Comments by ASA Industry Standards Guide to Regulating Industry Standards Recognizing Science using the Data Quality Act Data Quality Act Briefs Fact Sheet on ASA's Data Quality Act Petition to HHS ASA Data Quality Act petition to HHS Information on Lawyers and Named Patients in the Data Quality Act Lawsuit Reports 2021 State of the States Cannabis and Cannabis Resin- Critical Review Preparation Document Medical Cannabis in America
- News News
- Join Join
Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patients hailed another landmark victory today when the U.S. House voted 231-192 to restrict Department of Treasury funds from "being used to prohibit or penalize a financial institution from providing services to a marijuana-related business that engages in activities permissible under state or local laws." The amendment to the financial services budget bill was introduced by Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), and won an unprecedented number of votes for a medical marijuana issue.
The burgeoning medical marijuana industry has endured years of resistance from the banking and financial services industry mainly due to the threat of federal interference. Most of the major banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup, have refused to work with medical marijuana businesses despite a memo issued by Treasury earlier this year. This refusal has forced thousands of medical marijuana producers, manufacturers, and distributors to resort to cash-only businesses, putting them and the patients that use their services at greater risk of harm.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Treasury agency, has for years selectively audited dozens, and possibly hundreds, of medical marijuana businesses, under a little-known provision of the tax code that forces criminal enterprises to pay taxes on their gross revenue. Despite following all local and state laws, dispensaries in California and Colorado are still being audited under Tax Code Section 280e, meant for cartels and large criminal enterprises. The Heck-Rohrabacher-Perlmutter-Lee amendment would arguably curb these audits and give the banking industry the go-ahead to service medical marijuana businesses.
"An overwhelming number of House members are telling the Obama Administration to stop meddling in state and local medical marijuana laws," said Mike Liszewski, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access, which has been lobbying Congress on these measures. "Today's vote should also be a clear signal to the U.S. Senate that they, too, should respect medical marijuana laws across the country."
The House also made an historic 186-236 vote to reject an amendment introduced by Representatives John Fleming (R-LA) and Andy Harris (R-MD) to the same budget bill, which would have prohibited Treasury from implementing the guidance issued earlier this year that allows banks to service medical marijuana businesses, in opposition to the Heck-Rohrabacher-Perlmutter-Lee amendment.
Today's vote comes just two months after the House voted to restrict Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement in medical marijuana states as an amendment to the Commerce, Science & Justice (CJS) budget bill. The then-unprecedented 219-189 vote signaled a sea change in Congress, according to advocates, and today's vote has surpassed the level of support seen in May. A similar CJS amendment has been filed by U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), but has not yet come up for a vote. A vote on a CJS amendment in the Senate is expected later this summer.
# # #