SALEM, OR -- The agency responsible for regulating Oregon’s pot industry is calling on Congress to change banking regulations. It’s a renewed push by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission - to remove barriers to banking services for legal cannabis businesses. "We’ve been hearing from the industry, we’ve also seen a proliferation of crime for the past few years occuring at our licensed retail businesses, just because they are cash heavy," OLCC’s Bryant Haley tells KBND News. He says they have all that cash because federally insured banks are not allowed to do business with companies selling a product considered illegal at the federal level.
The agency recently sent a letter to Oregon’s Congressional delegation, "Our chair of the commission Paul Rosenbaulm is not pleased with federal stagnation, so he’s really been pushing this issue as something that we need to discuss." Haley adds, "This is what we can do to show support, to show solidarity with the industry for this undue burden placed upon them, versus the business down the street selling ‘x’ widgets. I hate to quote my 7-year-old who loves to use this term, but it’s not fair."
He says regulators know complete legalization of cannabis is unlikely, but allowing legal businesses access to financial services is long overdue, "So many states in this country are operating some sort of cannabis program."