HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – In July Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed a law that authorizes certain financial institutions to work with legitimate cannabis-related businesses, primarily medical marijuana operators.

House Bill 331 allows an authorized financial institution to provide services for legitimate cannabis-related businesses and their business associates. The bill also authorizes insurance providers to work with cannabis-related businesses.

No agencies or political subdivisions can prohibit, penalize, or discourage a financial institution or insurer from working with a cannabis-related business. Cannabis-related businesses can also not be denied any right or privilege by a state agency because of their participation in the medical marijuana program.

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The law defines a “legitimate cannabis-related business” as “a person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling cannabis or a cannabis product, including cultivating, producing, manufacturing, selling, transporting, displaying, dispensing, distributing or purchasing cannabis or a cannabis product in compliance with federal law, the laws of this commonwealth or a law established by another state.”

This does not apply to the cultivation, production, manufacture, sale, transportation, display, dispensing, distribution, or purchase of cannabis for recreational use in Pennsylvania.

“All businesses that provide jobs and grow the state’s tax base require investment and protection as a basic necessity  –  but for years, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana operators have been denied these basic rights.  House Bill 331 ensures equity for legitimate cannabis businesses, but most importantly, it sends a signal to the federal government to pass a national ‘safe banking act’  that protects an industry that helps millions of patients and generates billions in tax dollars. I applaud state legislators and Governor Wolf on this historic day as lawmakers increasingly listen to patient needs to grow and recognize this burgeoning industry.”   

Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition (PCC) Executive Director Meredith Buettner

HB 331 previously passed the State Senate with 46 of 50 votes and the State House with 173 of 202 votes.

HB 331 was one of 40 laws signed by Governor Wolf last week, which included new regulations for fireworks, cracking down on illegal ATVs, and amending the election code.