Okla. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Applauding New Bill Allowing Them To Use Federal Banks

Monday, September 30th 2019, 7:24 pm
By: Karl Torp

The U.S. House has passed a bill allowing banks to have medical marijuana businesses as customers, even if marijuana is federally illegal.

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate. 

Meanwhile, News 9 has learned there is a small number of banks in Oklahoma already offering banking to dispensaries, growers, and processors.

The fees to open an account can be very expensive.

News 9 spoke to a dispensary owner who said he was told to play at least $1,200 a month in banking fees to open an account.

“I would certainly call it gouging,” said Ziggy's owner Chelsey Davis.

At the federal level, medical marijuana is still considered illegal and medical marijuana businesses face serious challenges banking with federally insured banks.

It’s led to dispensaries and growers dealing with large amounts of cash.

The president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association giving medical marijuana businesses the power to bank is a matter of safety. 

“It’s too tempting, and some people are going to get hurt or even killed. I think that’s crazy,” said Roger Beverage, who has been lobbying U.S. lawmakers to allow medical marijuana businesses to bank.