Oregon Governor Vetoes Bill for Groundbreaking Cannabis Public Bank Study Amidst Industry Banking Woes

Cannabis Bank Investigation Sparks Controversy as <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/oregon/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Oregon">Oregon</a> Governor Vetoes State <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/task-force/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Task Force">Task Force</a> <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/bill/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Bill">Bill</a>

Cannabis Bank Investigation Sparks Controversy as Oregon Governor Vetoes State Task Force Bill

In a surprising turn of events, Governor Tina Kotek (D) of Oregon has wielded her veto power to strike down a potentially groundbreaking bill. The legislation, aimed at establishing a state task force to delve into the risks and benefits of creating a public bank tailored for the cannabis industry, faced a sudden halt earlier this month. While Gov. Kotek expressed support for the broader concept of exploring a public bank, she highlighted “several logistical ” in the bill. Notably, the mandate for the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD) to oversee the task force posed a concern, given the department’s current management of over 80 programs.

Championed by Representatives Mark Gamba (D) and Jules Walters​ (D), alongside Senator Jeff Golden (D), the had successfully navigated the legislative process and obtained clearance in June. The envisaged 19-member task force would have boasted lawmakers appointed by leadership, financial experts selected by the governor, and a member “with experience in management of a cannabis business.” The core responsibility of the State Public Bank Task Force involved a comprehensive study and subsequent recommendations concerning the potential impacts, both positive and negative, of a state bank catering to diverse industries and financial services.

Of particular focus, the vetoed bill was dedicated to scrutinizing the ramifications and potential advantages of a public bank offering “financial services for cannabis businesses.” The task force’s extensive findings and recommendations were slated to culminate in a final report due by September 1, 2024.

Beyond the borders of Oregon, the broader cannabis industry’s ongoing struggle to access traditional financial services due to prohibition has spurred legislative efforts in other states. In New York, policymakers have tabled multiple legislative proposals, aiming to either establish a public bank for cannabis enterprises or delve into the feasibility of such an institution.

Last year, the Research Service noted similar endeavors in California, where attempts to create a public bank tailored for the cannabis sector made progress in the Senate but faltered in the Assembly in 2019. Similarly, a 2018 ballot measure proposing a public bank in Los Angeles was met with voter rejection.

These initiatives to alleviate financial constraints on the industry arise from mounting frustration over federal restrictions impeding licensed cannabis businesses’ access to crucial banking services. Despite bipartisan interest in addressing this challenge, efforts within the U.S. Congress to shield banks from repercussions for working with state-legal cannabis enterprises have faced hurdles. While the House has repeatedly passed reform legislation, Senate negotiations have encountered temporary roadblocks, exemplified by disagreements over the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.

Nevertheless, states have taken independent measures to provide relief. The governor of recently signed a budget bill permitting licensed marijuana businesses to claim state tax deductions currently barred by the IRS code. Similarly, Connecticut’s governor signed budget legislation granting state-level tax benefits to licensed cannabis businesses as a workaround for the federal 280E restriction.

In May, ’s governor enacted legislation enabling licensed cannabis enterprises to deduct specific expenses on their state tax returns, partially addressing the IRS 280E issue. States including Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and have followed suit, pursuing tax relief strategies tailored to their respective cannabis markets.

At the federal level, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) rekindled hope in May by reintroducing a bill that would amend the IRS code. If successful, the bill would extend federal tax deductions, already accessible to other industries, to state-legal marijuana businesses.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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