UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — Last month the House of Representatives passed what’s called the Safe Banking Act. This would give the marijuana industry access to fair banking and allow financial institutions to lend money to legitimate cannabis-related businesses.
“With all the social equity provisions and diversity that we want to create in this industry it’s important for small business owners to have the ability to get that funding they need to start their business,” says Jason Erkes, the Chief Communications Officer at Cresco Labs.
Because recreational marijuana isn’t legal in all 50 states, this makes distributing the product difficult and costly. Erkes said, “There is no inner state commerce, it’s not federally legal. So, when we got into a state like New York we’re having to grow our product there, we’re having to manufacture our brands, distribute it to the dispensaries. The dispensaries sell it, and consumers must consume it all within the state of New York. And there’s really not another industry like this in the country or in the world.”
The Senate hasn’t voted on the bill yet, but if passed Erkes says this will generate even more revenue from the cannabis industry. Erkes adds, “but hopefully optimistic that the Senate will understand the importance of a piece of legislation like this to an industry that’s creating tens of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars for the national economy.”
In March New York legalized the use of recreational marijuana but the state hasn’t released licensing guidelines yet.