Senator: Banking laws must protect hemp, cannabis businesses

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s independent senator says it’s time for the federal government to update banking laws to reflect the rise of legal hemp and cannabis businesses.

Sen. Angus King represents a state where legal adult-use marijuana sales are likely to begin in early 2020. He says the U.S. Senate should protect those businesses bypassing the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act.

King says the bill would make certain that legal hemp and cannabis businesses can have access to the same financial services as any other businesses. He says it’s important for states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. King said the changes would also benefit hemp farmers who “have done everything right” but still lack access to financial services.

The proposal has already passed the House of Representatives.