HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Senate Banking and Insurence Committee gave bipartisan approval to legislation authored by John DiSanto (R-Dauphin, Perry) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) to afford state-legal cannabis better access to banking and insurance services.

According to a release, Pennsylvania is one of 37 states that have legalized medical cannabis. This quickly emerging industry has brought new businesses, jobs, and investment to Pennsylvania and has provided several hundred thousand patients access to safe and regulated products for the treatment of health conditions.  

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“Access to financial and insurance services is essential for operating any business and it is against the public interest to relegate a multi-billion-dollar industry to deal in piles of cash,” DiSanto said. “Banking this cash safely in Pennsylvania provides certainty for businesses, is a huge opportunity to grow our economy, and should ultimately lower costs for medical cannabis consumers.”

The bill authorizes but does not require financial institutions to provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses. The legislation also permits Pennsylvanjuia’s medical cannabis industry the ability to take out ordinary business expenses when filing state taxes.

“The Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition applauds Chairmen DiSanto and Street for their work on state safe banking legislation. SB 1167 will not only expand financial access for Pennsylvania’s legitimate cannabis-related businesses but will also create significant tax savings for medical marijuana operators that can be passed on to patients without significant loss of revenue for the Commonwealth,” executive director Meredith Buettner said in a statement regarding the vote.