How I Plan to Make Business Safer for Cannabis Entrepreneurs + Employees
Did you know that virtually every dispensary is cash-only?
Or that licensed cannabis businesses can’t get a bank account?
Because federal law still considers marijuana a Schedule I (1) controlled substance, banks take a huge risk if they open accounts for cannabis businesses. Touching the money means the bank could be charged with money laundering. Even utilities companies that provide marijuana businesses with electricity, for example, are in a precarious situation since banks can refuse to serve them too.
Thousands upon thousands of dollars are sitting around their facilities. Suitcases and duffel bags full of cash are dropped off to pay taxes. All wages are paid in cash too.
This 100%-cash model is dangerous to entrepreneurs—and their employees—in San Diego’s legalized-marijuana marketplace.
They risk becoming the victims of mugging. Kidnapping. Brutality. Dispensary robberies.
Take, for instance, an Orange County dispensary owner who was kidnapped, then brutally tortured and disfigured. His kidnappers believed he’d buried cash in the desert.
Just last January, in San Diego’s District 7, a driver picking up cash payments across our county was beaten and robbed when he reached Grantville. The criminals took $9,000 in cash.
Let’s not keep putting San Diegans at risk.
A Simple Solution
Whether or not every San Diegan agrees with marijuana’s legalization, every resident must care about the well-being and safety of their neighbor. Their cousin. Their childhood best friend’s spouse.
Let’s use common sense when it comes to cannabis:
We need to open a bank that accepts licensed cannabis businesses and workers’ money A.S.A.P.
To cooperate with federal law’s continued classification of marijuana as a controlled substance, the state or local government must charter the bank.
To shield San Diego’s cannabis entrepreneurs + employees from crime, I will do everything in my power to push for this bank through the proper channels. Working with state legislators and the governor’s office, I’ll advocate heavily for San Diego’s first marijuana-friendly bank, including a statewide solution.
Let’s Push for the SAFE Banking Act + Assembly Bill 857
A couple of months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the SAFE Banking Act. This legislation would protect banks in marijuana-legal states who work with licensed cannabis businesses.
Even the American Bankers Association is asking for a clear decision, for the sake of bankers operating in states where cannabis is legal—whether recreationally or medically.
Just last month, the California State Assembly introduced Assembly Bill 857, which would let local governments charter public banks.
We’re headed in the right direction.
We have momentum.
We need to put pressure on the state legislature + the governor’s office to act.
Let’s set an example for the rest of marijuana-legalized cities and states. We can unite both sides of the aisle on protecting the lives of our neighbors and relatives—however close or distant—working in the cannabis industry. Everyone can get on board with keeping people safer.
San Diego can be in the vanguard of cannabis-friendly banking. We can take a stand for our fellow residents’ safety.
We can save people from crime—with a simple step.
Donate + Volunteer this Month
In every District, San Diego spring is in the air . . . and we need feet on the ground. Can you help out with canvassing this month? Volunteer today >
Each dollar you donate goes toward my vision for a better city. Give $5, $25, or even $250 today >
Together, we can make San Diego work for the cannabis employee, for the artisan entrepreneur, for the retired high-school teacher, for the bright-eyed second-grader, for everyone.