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Cannabis Businesses Could Have Access to Banks in 2019

bank icon with a marijuana leaf

Common sense tells us it’s going to be quite the challenge to get new cannabis banking legislation passed in 2019 for most States, regardless of how profitable it is. However, there’s still hope that the cannabis industry could actually see some sort of real fix on the marijuana banking in 2019.

How is that so? Well, banks who have clients in the legal medical and recreational marijuana business, for example, are ramping up their push for new cannabis legislation. There are no guarantees, of course, but things look promising at the moment. Several large financial institutions located in legal cannabis states are drawing tons of attention, from officials and lawmakers alike, all over the country.

Policy Analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, Isaac Boltansky, who is optimistic about the safe harbor being approved by lawmakers, stated: “As long as this issue is framed as a targeted and technical fix intended to clarify states’ rights, I think it has a path to passage in the next Congress.”

Boltanksy isn’t the only one who has such realistic yet high hopes for the legislation passing  in 2019. However, with a divided Congress, it’s hard to predict what sort of agreements Republicans and Democrats come up with for the cannabis banking issue. Because it’s a delicate issue, involving more than just a little money (billions of dollars each year), State and Federal law, regulations for financial institutions and much more will require a truly comprehensive look at the problem and a reasonable solution for all parties.

There’s a lot more to it than there appears to be at first glance. These lawmakers have their work cut out for them. In regards to the cannabis financial fix the country is waiting for vital aspects such as state licensing for growers and businesses, regulating quality, tax rates, and much much more. Also, they also need to come up with some adequate steps for properly reporting suspicious, fraudulent, and criminal activities as well.

Another issue that is holding up the committees from coming to any conclusive agreements is that they are currently overloaded with other work. For example, members of the banking committees are tied up with Export and Import issues, the Federal Flood Insurance Program, and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. So, there is always that to take into consideration as well.

However, for those relying on cannabis to pay their bills and run their businesses, none of those issues mentioned above affect their daily lives remotely as much as the impending cannabis banking regulations that need to be passed. Thankfully, interest across the country is picking up as more and more states legalize marijuana in one form or another.

All of the main players in Washington are getting on board, whether their past stance was pro-marijuana or not. Furthermore, the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a true adversary of the cannabis movement, spells nothing but good news for those waiting on new pot legislation.

Elizabeth Warren, Democratic representative from Massachuttes, along with Cory Gardner of the Republican party, introduced a groundbreaking bill this past summer, which was endorsed by President Trump. If passed, the bill would authorize each state to write and enforce their own laws and regulations concerning cannabis.

In addition, Ed Perlmutter, Democratic representative from Colorado, and Denny Heck, Democratic representative from Washington, introduced a bill which would block federal regulators from further issuing actions against banks and other financial institutions for providing services to businesses operating within the legal cannabis industry. This bill is being backed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

With the new year upon us, we’ll have to wait and see what the capital has to say, and more importantly, what it actually does, about these crucial issues with banking, state and federal regulations, and the current cannabis industry.

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