Anyone involved in the cannabis industry knows that the lack of access to banking services is one of the major issues plaguing the burgeoning industry. Actually, it is a real testament to the quality of the industry that businesses have been able to survive at all with such few banking options. Add on the 280e federal IRS tax provision that denies normal deductions for even state-legal-and-regulated businesses and it is amazing that cannabis businesses have been able to stay afloat at all.
Thankfully, we are seeing progress at the federal level on the cannabis banking issue and a new poll by DHM research shows that Oregon voters overwhelmingly support cannabis businesses access to banking services. This recent survey follows a previous DHM poll that found that 61% of Oregon voters supported legalization, two years after 56% voted to regulate marijuana by passing Measure 91.
— DHM Research (@DHMresearch)
DHM polled 800 Oregonians on whether they supported if their bank or credit union worked with cannabis businesses. A whopping 87% of those surveyed would not have any negative feelings about banks doing business with the cannabis industry, while nearly four times as many Oregonians (44%) would like their bank more, than the 12% that would have more negative feelings about their bank.
Banks looking towards the future clearly should look to do business with the cannabis community as DHM’s polling found that 62% of those under the age of 35 would have more positive feelings about a bank that provides services to marijuana businesses. A huge super majority, 88% of those under 35 have a positive view of the cannabis industry, showing that the future is regulation and prohibition is a dying policy.
Despite the efforts of Reefer Madness propagandists, the cannabis industry is here to stay and the federal government needs to address the danger federal law is creating in our neighborhoods. Over 80% of Oregonians, 92% of those under 35, understand that lack of banking services threatens our communities.
While prohibitionists try to demonize the cannabis community, their efforts clearly aren’t working as Oregonians have more positive feelings about the cannabis industry than they do about many other industries. While only 12% of Oregonians would have more negative feelings about a bank serving cannabis businesses, that was much lower than the negative feelings toward big-box stores (25%), Big Oil (41%), Big Pharma (38%) and Big Tobacco (48%). Clearly, legalization is here to stay.
Businesses that work with legal marijuana businesses should not be frozen out of traditional banking services. Our letter: pic.twitter.com/qcW9dIeZXu
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) December 14, 2016
Demonstrating the widespread, mainstream support for sensible cannabis laws, both Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkely, have joined forces to legalize banking services for state-regulated businesses. You don’t have to be a supporter of cannabis legalization to understand the need to allow cannabis banking, as public safety is at stake. Hopefully, with more and more states allowing regulated cannabis commerce, Congress will soon act on the common sense banking legislation sponsored by Senators Wyden and Merkely.