National Association of State Treasurers Passes Resolution on Cannabis Banking

legal tender

May 17, 2019

Olympia, WA – A resolution by the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) passed today, in which the Association is voicing their support for Congress to advance legislation allowing the states with legalized cannabis the ability to bring transactions into the safety and scrutiny of the national banking system.

The resolution does not take a position as to whether cannabis should be federally legalized, however it does signify support from state treasurers for federal legislation on banking options for money earned through legal cannabis business.

Legal cannabis exists in 33 states for medicinal purposes, including ten states and the District of Columbia that allow recreational marijuana.

Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug federally, leaving banks and businesses in the industry vulnerable to potential federal prosecution. The result is businesses handling their finances in all cash, outside of the U.S. banking system, which has led to safety concerns among the country’s treasurers in recent years.

According to Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson, Washington cannabis retailers want access to banking and financial services for their legal marijuana dollars.

Since taking office in 2016, Treasurer Davidson has been a proponent for creating avenues to legal banking in the marijuana industry, initially sponsoring the resolution as Chair of the NAST Banking Committee.

In partnership with Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, chair of the NAST Legislative Committee, the resolution was brought forth to the Executive Committee and the general membership, whom voted in majority favor of passing the resolution.

“This resolution is a bipartisan message to Congress,” Treasurer Davidson said. “It took serious consideration and partnership from state financial leaders to clearly call out for support of common sense federal laws.”

NAST is a national organization with objectives to foster closer professional relationships and the exchange of ideas among the state treasurers.