Round Two: Cannabis Banking Bill Passes Appropriations

California lawmakers are once again considering legislation to create state-chartered banks and credit unions to provide services to marijuana enterprises.

Senate Bill 51, authored by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday. A similar bill proposed by Hertzberg failed last year.

Like the previous bill, SB 51 is expected to be pricey, incurring around $2 million in costs per year. Hertzberg argues those costs would be more than offset by the benefits. Right now, many cannabis businesses are forced to operate in all-cash environments that invite crime and make the payment of taxes and local fees more difficult.