Cannabis Bill on Insurance and Banking In Pennsylvania Reaches the Governor

William Davis

Following a vote in the House on Friday, a Pennsylvania measure containing protections to safeguard banks and insurers in the state that interact with authorized medical marijuana firms is on its way to the governor's desk. A majority of 173-27 supported the measure, which is a standalone item that has already passed through the legislature this year.

The Senate approved the cannabis banking reform as a stand-alone bill earlier this year, and a House committee last week also approved it. Sen. John DiSanto (R), the principal sponsor, later submitted it as an amendment to HB 311, which has since been passed and deals with allowing some financial institutions to run savings promotion campaigns.

Another illustration of how states are working to offer protections to financial institutions willing to service the cannabis market as Congress continues to stall on a federal fix is the Pennsylvania cannabis legislation, which is currently on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) desk and supports marijuana legalization.

Before the vote, Kerry Benninghoff (R) stated that these financial institutions and insurers must still abide by the norms and regulations that apply to all of their other clients and by Commonwealth consumer protection legislation. There isn't currently a statute protecting banks, money, or insurance against legitimate cannabis enterprises operating in the Commonwealth.

The HB 311 amendment won't shield banks and insurers from potential federal consequences, but it's a stopgap measure aimed to reassure the financial sector that they at least won't be subject to state law fines.

In April, the House unveiled its own marijuana banking plan, which included tax relief measures for the sector that had been eliminated from the Senate version before it was passed.

Introducing state-level safeguards might increase pressure on Congress to implement a nationwide measure, like the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which has already passed the House six times in various forms but is now stalled in the Senate.

There were hopes that Congress would include the federal banking reform in the America COMPETES Act, a comprehensive manufacturing bill that is currently in bicameral conference, but leadership in both chambers reportedly recently agreed to keep that language out in order to hasten the passage of the more comprehensive legislation.

Separately, on Thursday, an amendment to a significant military measure was put out that would implement SAFE Banking. It may possibly be a part of a collection of incremental marijuana ideas being taken into account in high-level bicameral discussions.

Additionally, in newly unveiled budget legislation, congressional leaders are recommending a number of marijuana policy reforms, including one that would offer financial safeguards to allow the cannabis business access to the banking system.

Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

In 2016, Pennsylvania legalized medicinal marijuana; the state's first dispensaries opened their doors in 2018. But such modifications have not yet been reflected in the state's zero-tolerance DUI statute.

Numerous critical medical diseases can be treated with medicinal marijuana. It's crucial to remember that PA medical marijuana doctors only certify patients who meet the requirements for a medical card. If you have one of the following conditions, your doctor may explore cannabis treatment:

  • a long-term condition for which prescription pharmaceutical use may result in physical or mental dependency, or
  • a persistent medical illness that results in severe, crippling psychological issues

View the full list of qualifying medicinal marijuana ailments in Pennsylvania.

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William Davis is a CBD and MMJ enthusiast working with Quick Med Cards. He has been covering cannabis-related stories for many years and has been involved in educating readers about the potential benefits this tabooed plant can have.

Sheridan, WY

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