Public hearing on Oregon bill to create state-chartered bank for the cannabis industry

Oregon map

Image courtesy Tenth Amendment Center


On Monday Oregon state representatives held a public hearing for HB 3169, a bill filed late February by Rep. Pam Marsh and Rep. Ken Helm that would create a self-contained state chartered banking system for the cannabis industry in Oregon. The bill proposes a network of financial institutions separate from the federal banking system, which has locked out cannabis businesses as being illegal under federal law. A similar bill brought earlier in California died in the legislature, but Oregon is pressing on undaunted. A work session has been scheduled for April 8. 

According to a report by Mike Maharrey in the Tenth Amendment Center:

“HB3619 would authorize banking institutions and credit unions to organize as limited charter cannabis financial institutions. Cannabis businesses would be able to deposit funds in these institutions and write ‘special purpose checks.’ … These checks could only be deposited or cashed at the issuing cannabis limited charter bank or credit union, or another cannabis limited charter bank or credit union that agrees to accept the check. This would keep the entire process outside of the federal checking system known as the automatic clearing house (ACH).”


Maharrey continues:

“With the passage of HB3169, Oregon could bypass the entire federal banking system and its regulations, and create a self-contained banking network for the marijuana industry.”

Meanwhile, on March 28, the House Financial Services committee approved an updated version of the SAFE Banking Act, passing with a vote of 45-15 in support of cannabis banking. It now returns to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration. More information here

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