On January 18, 2021, American Banker published an article that discusses how change of federal cannabis legislation could effect cannabis banking. Whereas marijuana remains federally illegal and, as a result, most banks and credit unions continue to avoid the industry, Congress has recently considered multiple bills regarding the cannabis decriminalization, legalization, regulation and taxation. There is anticipation with the new Biden-administration that swift action with will take place to move cannabis -- and banking cannabis -- into clear(er) legal status. However, industry experts are cautioning "not so fast."
CRB Monitor's Founder & CEO, Steve Kemmerling, was one of the cannabis-banking industry experts interviewed. Specifically, Steve spoke with American Banker about why FinCEN's marijuana-banking statistics over-estimate that number of depository institutions that service the marijuana industry, which he also wrote a full blog post on (Why FinCEN's Marijuana Banking Count Is Too High).
“Fincen may include anyone who files any type of marijuana-related limited or priority SAR, even if the SAR is a stretch or not entirely accurate,” said Kemmerling. “For example, maybe the compliance officer filed a marijuana SAR on a hemp or CBD company, possibly because he or she doesn’t really understand the difference between marijuana, hemp and CBD.”
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