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While some cannabis businesses have found ways to open bank accounts, many are often required to close them out when bank personnel realize they are dealing with a cannabis business, according to Jenkins.
They must spend the funds or take a check from the bank as a withdrawal.
“But then what do they do with that check?” Jenkins said. “By and large, the vast majority of the industry is excluded from any meaningful banking.”
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The 2019 legislative session as a whole proved a mixed bag for the cannabis industry, with “some wins and some losses,” said Amy Jenkins, lobbyist for the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA).
One of those losses, she noted, was the failure earlier in the session ofAssembly Bill 286, a temporary state marijuana tax reduction.
“We wanted to be in a better position as it relates to tax reduction, enforcement enhancement,” Jenkins said.
“So, some of our priorities are going to be ongoing,” she noted, adding, “CCIA is already evaluating what our agenda items are going to be for next year.”
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Jenkins said everyone deserves a chance to enter the space.
"One of our core policy objectives is removing barriers to entry into the compliant cannabis marketplace," Jenkins explained.
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It wasn’t that long ago (2015, cough, cough) that the cannabis industry was derided or dismissed outright at the Capitol, and pot advocates were seen as hopeless outsiders. No more. With the passage of Proposition 64, the longtime outlaw industry is quickly being transformed into the “Green Rush,” and lobbyist Amy Jenkins has positioned herself as one of the go-to advocates for the cannabis industry.
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Most government officials will need a good reason to support cannabis-friendly policies. That’s why Jenkins suggests familiarizing yourself with your mayor, City Council members, and/or county supervisors. Learn what their interests are in order to better understand how to speak to their values. For example, a councilmember who puts a priority on public safety may respond more favorably if you’re able to explain how regulating cannabis businesses can reduce risks to the public.
“When you go in and understand what makes a policymaker tick, you’re going to get a lot more bang for your buck,” she said.
Cultivating Support for Marijuana Industry
It’s not shocking that Howard Jarvis, the retailers and all the rest are walking hand in hand with Pot Girl. Lobbying goes on in the Capitol. What’s mildly insulting is that some legalization backers promised to somehow limit lobbying. Jenkins, having seized an opportunity to get in early, is shaping laws that will affect a newly legalized and commercialized business for years to come. That’s heady for a lobbyist. Whether it’s good or not for the rest of us, we’ll find out.
“IT’S BEEN PRETTY SEISMIC in terms of how quickly perceptions have changed and acceptance of the industry by many different staff members and legislators,” says Amy Jenkins.