Oregon Marijuana Banking Bill Heading to Governor’s Desk

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A marijuana banking bill is heading to the desk of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown after sailing through the state legislature last month.

The bill, HB 4094, exempts financial institutions from state criminal prosecution for providing financial services to legal marijuana businesses, so long as those companies and financial institutions don’t violate other state laws.

What the bill cannot do, however, is guarantee that the federal government won’t shut down banks for providing financial services to marijuana businesses.

The Department of Justice issued guidelines in 2014 stating that federal law enforcement will not give priority to prosecuting financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses, so long as those businesses don’t break other laws like selling to minors or diverting product to the black market. Nevertheless, the vast majority of banks have stayed away from marijuana companies.