CUNA Backs Amendment to Allow CUs to Serve Legal Cannabis Businesses

CUNA wrote in support of an amendment to the FIRST STEP Act (S. 756) that would clarify the federal treatment of marijuana in states where it is legal Monday. The text of the CUNA-backed Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2018 (S. 3032) was added to S. 756, which is currently pending on the Senate floor.

“CUNA supports this amendment which would clarify the federal treatment of marijuana in states where it is legal, and permit credit unions in those states to safely serve their members’ related financial needs,” the letter reads. “The legislation would provide credit unions and other financial institutions accepting deposits from, extending credit or providing payment services to an individual or business engaged in marijuana-related commerce in states where such activity is legal with appropriate legal protections, so long as they are compliant with all other applicable laws and regulations.

“Furthermore, the legislation makes it clear that compliant financial transactions do not constitute trafficking or result in proceeds of an unlawful transaction, providing additional clarity to credit unions and the members they serve. This is a reasonable and sound approach,” the letter adds.

The letter notes that CUNA does not take a position on the morality or wisdom of legalizing or decriminalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana at the state or federal levels, but that the lack of access to financial services where it is legal creates a significant public safety issue.

CUNA wrote in support of S. 3032, as well as two other bills (H.R. 2215 and S. 1152) that would clarify the ability of financial institutions to service legal, cannabis-based businesses in June.