Politics

The top financial regulators in 25 states and U.S. territories are joining together to pressure Congress to pass legislation allowing marijuana businesses to store their profits in banks.

It’s not legalization, but it’s still a big change in marijuana policy.

Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday that he would prefer that Congress enact legislation allowing states to legalize marijuana instead of continuing the current approach under which a growing number of states have ended cannabis prohibition in conflict with federal law.

A congressional committee voted on Thursday to approve legislation aimed at increasing marijuana businesses' access to banks.

The head of the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday that there is no regulatory solution to existing banking access issues for the marijuana industry, and he encouraged Congress to resolve the problem with legislation “on a bipartisan basis.”

A bipartisan bill designed to protect banks that service the marijuana industry from being penalized by federal regulators will get a vote in a key congressional committee next week.

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