Press Releases

Hertzberg Announces Cannabis Banking Bill to Wait Until 2020

SB 51 is moved to Inactive File for 2019, with commitment from Hertzberg and sponsors to move forward in early 2020

September 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) announced today that he will not be advancing SB 51 this year, but emphasized his commitment to work together with sponsor Fiona Ma and the Governor’s Office to iron out necessary clarifications and implementation details.

“If we’re going to do this, we have to do it right,” said Hertzberg. “We owe it to the dozens of cities, counties, and cannabis industry officials who have been supporting this effort to see it through.”

“I will continue to champion this issue on behalf of business investors as well as constituents that voted for a healthy, legal cannabis industry in California,” said Treasurer Fiona Ma, co-sponsor of the measure. “I remain committed and am looking forward to working with Governor Newsom and Senator Hertzberg on SB 51 as a top priority for January when the Legislature reconvenes.”

SB 51 would permit private banks and credit unions to apply for a limited-purpose, state-chartered bank license that doesn’t interact with the federal system, allowing licensed cannabis-related businesses to open accounts and deposit income.

The Majority Leader intends to move the bill when the Legislature reconvenes in January for the second half of the 2019-2020 Session. Because the bill contains an urgency clause and has already cleared a majority of legislative hurdles, there remains a path for it to go into effect in early 2020.

Media Contact: Katie Hanzlik
Press Secretary
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 313
(916) 651-4018