Illinois Senate panel passes bill to protect banks serving cannabis businesses

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An Illinois senate committee voted to advance a bill that would prohibit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from taking any action that would penalize or dissuade banks and credit unions from serving legal marijuana-related businesses.

Even if the bill becomes law, Capitol News Illinois noted, financial institutions that do business with marijuana companies would still face possible prosecution by federal authorities.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs earlier warned lawmakers that the state’s cannabis industry could collapse if the Legislature doesn’t approve the banking bill.

Frerichs noted that Illinois rang up an estimated $136.5 million in legal cannabis sales last year, making the industry “ripe for theft, fraud and tax evasion.”

To read more about the bill, click here.