Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of 21 attorneys general from around the country backed a bill that would allow cannabis-related businesses operating legally to access the banking system.

Legal cannabis operations, including medical marijuana companies in New York, operate as cash businesses. The need to do so is reflective of marijuana remaining illegal on the federal level.

Multiple states have either medical cannabis or adult-use cannabis programs in place.

“As the marketplace for legal cannabis-related business evolves, federal regulations governing the banking system must keep pace,” James said in a statement.

“It’s not only commonsense to fold a growing multi-billion-dollar industry under the regulated banking sector, but it’s also a matter of public safety. With such widespread, bipartisan support, there is no reason this bill shouldn’t pass without delay.”

Allowing cannabis companies to make bank transactions would provide an added layer of oversight and reduce the risk of both violent and white-collar crime, James said.