Petition statement to be delivered to Fiona Ma, Chair, California State Board of Equalization and John Chiang, California State Treasurer

Make Cannabis Products Payable with Credit and Debit Cards By Starting a Public Bank in California

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Make Cannabis Products Payable with Credit and Debit Cards By Starting a Public Bank in California

To be delivered to Fiona Ma, Chair, California State Board of Equalization and John Chiang, California State Treasurer

Petition Statement

We, the undersigned, call upon the State of California’s Board of Equalization (BOE) and Treasurer’s Office to remedy the lack of banking and electronic payment services available to legal businesses within the state's cannabis industry with a constitutionally protected state-owned bank.
There are currently 73 signatures. NEW goal - We need 100 signatures!

Petition Background

California is the sixth largest economy in the world. Its Gross State Product is greater than all but the five wealthiest countries, and the state is home to Silicon Valley, as well as leading global companies in agriculture, entertainment, and information technology.

Surely the state can do better than constraining a projected $25 billion industry to dangerous cash-based transactions. With recreational cannabis for adults on course for legalized sale in 2018, we believe it is time to finally resolve the banking issue, bring legitimate businesses out of this rapidly growing shadow economy, and manage this new economy responsibly and transparently.

Specifically, we urge the BOE and State Treasurer’s Office to enact a public banking-facilitated policy of centralized, state-monitored management of cannabis business revenue. This conservative approach will responsibly manage an activity--cannabis business revenue transactions--that is still, unfortunately, federally prohibited. Public management of cannabis business revenue will:

- protect proprietors and others from theft of cash,
- ensure regulatory and tax compliance, and
- serve as a necessary and long-overdue electronic payments platform.

We believe that a constitutionally protected public bank with electronic payment capability would limit the scope, ensure the best practices, and increase the safety of cannabis revenue transactions, resulting in less illegal activity overall.

In implementing public banking facilitation of cannabis revenue transactions, California has the opportunity to lead by example in creating a state-specific model where the federal government has failed to heed the changing realities of both cannabis and banking policy in the United States.

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