Category Archives: Cannabis

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National Credit Union Administration Encourages Banking Hemp Businesses — With Some Caveats

In December 2018, Congress gave the hemp industry a significant boost by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp (i.e., cannabis with a THC content of less than .3%).  The 2018 Farm Bill tasked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with formulating the regulations to govern this burgeoning … Continue Reading

A Cannabis Banking Bill, Sitting on Capitol Hill

Legislation that would pave the way for financial institutions to transact with cannabis-related businesses operating in states that have legalized marijuana (herein “cannabis-related legitimate businesses”) is quickly working its way through the House of Representatives. The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 was introduced in the House by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on March 7, 2019. … Continue Reading

Some of Florida’s Regulatory Restrictions on the Cannabis Industry Could Soon Be a Thing of the Past

On January 17, 2018, Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, delivered news that could supercharge the growth of Florida’s medical-cannabis industry. Governor DeSantis indicated he may drop the State’s appeal from a trial court’s ruling that the statutory cap on the number of licenses for “medical marijuana treatment centers” (MMTCs), and the requirement that MMTCs be … Continue Reading

Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper Provides Good News, Bad News, and Instructions to the Cannabis Industry and the Financial Institutions Serving It

For years, the “legal” cannabis industry – operating in states that have legalized cannabis under state law despite its long-standing prohibition under federal law – and the financial institutions that serve the industry have closely watched Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper. In Hickenlooper, Safe Streets Alliance, a “nonprofit organization devoted to reducing crime and illegal … Continue Reading

O Canada! What Canada’s Nationwide Legalization of Cannabis Means for American Financial Institutions

Today marks a significant shift in cannabis policy, both domestically and internationally, as Canada becomes the first industrialized nation in the world, and only the second nation overall, to legalize cannabis. This follows the passage of The Cannabis Act in June of this year, which legalized cannabis at all levels of government. With this blessing … Continue Reading

Providing Banking Services to the Legal Marijuana Industry: Mitigating Risks to Maximize Potential Rewards

Since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize marijuana (at the time, for medicinal purposes only), 28 additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some extent. Public support for legalization continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions loosen their marijuana laws, with 64 percent of Americans in favor … Continue Reading

Navigating Through the Hazy Intersection of Financial Services and the Legal Marijuana Industry

As more states legalize marijuana use, financial institutions face increased uncertainty about how to handle accounts opened by marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) in light of regulatory difficulties stemming from the obvious tension between state and federal law. Although the marijuana industry continues to rapidly grow, financial institutions have largely been sidelined by federal laws prohibiting the … Continue Reading
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