New mayors alliance aims to advocate nationally for state-legal marijuana programs

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A group of mayors has formed a coalition to push for marijuana reform at the national level, including provisions that would allow banks to work with state-legal MJ businesses.

The mayors, from six cities so far, also want to allow cannabis business owners to take tax deductions similar to those used by other companies.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock released a statement announcing the Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition on Sunday.

He noted mayors of cities that have managed the MJ industry have hands-on experience and can share best practices that might help the U.S. Congress “take the right steps to support other local governments as they prepare to enter this new frontier.”

Banking has become one of the industry’s thorniest issues, and it’s a challenge the coalition wants to help take on.

In addition to supporting banking services and MJ tax reform, the coalition wants to protect state-legal marijuana programs from federal interference.

Along with Denver’s Hancock, the initial mayors who have committed to advocate for reform through the coalition are:

  • Mark Farrell (San Francisco)
  • Jenny A. Durkan (Seattle)
  • Libby Schaaf (Oakland, California)
  • Ted Wheeler (Portland, Oregon)
  • Heidi Williams (Thornton, Colorado)