Guam backs 21 states lobbying for cannabis reform bill

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Guam's laws currently allow patients suffering from certain conditions to register in the medical marijuana program.

A bipartisan coalition of 21 Attorneys General has urged Congress to pass the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act” (H.R. 2093; S. 1028) or similar measures that would allow legal cannabis-related businesses to access the banking system.

The coalition is led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine who said that current federal banking laws, which reflect the federal status of marijuana as an illegal drug, force legitimate cannabis companies nationwide to operate mainly in cash.

The STATES Act would bring billions of dollars of existing cash transactions into the regulated banking sector, subject them to oversight, and reduce the risk of both violent and white-collar crime affecting the growing marijuana industry.

The coalition of states and territories was led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, New York AG Letitia James, and Nevada AG Aaron Ford, and joined by Attorneys General from Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Although Guam is not a signatory to the letter, Guam Attorney General Leevin Camacho informed NewsTalk K57 that Guam supports this initiative.

“We’ve already relayed to the lead offices that we support their efforts and to keep us informed of future efforts on the issue,” Camacho said.

The legal cannabis industry in 33 states and several U.S. territories employs hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide and is expected to generate revenue between $50-$80 billion over the next 10 years. Current federal law prevents banks from providing services to these state-regulated businesses, which forces them to operate almost entirely in cash and poses serious safety threats.

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