John Perdue, State Treasurer of West Virginia, will join forces with at least 10 other treasures from different states to urge Congress to solve banking problems pertaining to medical marijuana.
These banking issues are tampering with West Virginia’s already fledgling medical marijuana program, WVNews reported on Sunday.
“I support the rights of my fellow West Virginians, and I recognize the need for medical marijuana as an option for people who are suffering,” Perdue said.
“I want to do everything in my power to move our state toward a lawful solution; however, I want to be clear that there are real banking challenges at the federal level that my office may not be able to resolve alone.”
The federal government’s crackdown in January on already legal marijuana operations – medical or recreational – in many U.S. states have made banks cautious of processing pot transactions, fearing that they will violate the federal law.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 U.S. states, and recreational cannabis is legal in about nine others.
The trend to legalize marijuana is also spreading despite the crackdown. Last year, the West Virginia Legislature passed a law allowing for the medical use of cannabis. However, implementing the medical marijuana program is at a standstill because of the banking issue.
Due to this conflict between federal and state laws, Perdue sent a letter in March explaining the issue.
Perdue said he intended to issue a request for information Monday asking for banking solutions for sales, fees, licenses, taxes and other transactions related to state-sanctioned medical cannabis in West Virginia.
The official also wants to send a letter to federal Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to ask for “clear banking guidance” on how to deal with marijuana-related transactions.
“The fact is that the fate of medical marijuana in West Virginia depends on how President Trump’s administration approaches the enforcement of marijuana and banking laws,” Perdue said.
“At the very least, I want West Virginia to be treated like all other states that have implemented or started implementation of a medical marijuana program.
“There are a lot of mixed messages on the federal level regarding this issue,” he said.
“Congress can fix this, and I am asking for federal changes on behalf of our citizens. If you are passionate about this issue, I encourage you to also contact your congressional leaders and urge them to make changes that allow us to fully and lawfully conduct business in our state.”