The Cannabis Industry VS Financial Institutions

As marijuana stocks and the cannabis industry as a whole awaits federal cannabis reform the sector keeps trending. Now if the U.S. can federally decriminalize cannabis some analysts feel it may cause some cannabis stocks to rally. As well as many new doors will that can open. For one many new markets will look to join the U.S. cannabis industry. Furthermore, with federal cannabis reform, it could be the start of initiating a banking system for the industry.

Currently due to cannabis still being federally illegal banks can not take money from a cannabis-related business. From the time states started going legal, it has been an issue that has yet to be resolved. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, especially in the United States. Politicians have been working to pass various pieces of cannabis legislation.

The one bill that would be beneficial to the industry is known as the SAFE Banking Act. This bill would allow banks to accept money from cannabis-related businesses. On March 7, 2019, the bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Ed Perlmutter and was introduced to the Judiciary and Financial Services Committees. Back in 2019, the Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 to advance the bill to the full House.

The SAFE Banking Act provisions were included in the HEROES Act COVID-19 relief bill passed in the U.S. House in May 2020. They were again included in a bill approved by the house 214–207 in October. A push to include the SAFE Banking Act provisions in the end-of-year COVID-19 stimulus failed, though hope remained it could pass in 2021 if reintroduced.

How Will The Cannabis Industry Work With Banks

When it comes to any business you can think having startup capital is important. Now not every person with money is willing to invest in a new venture which makes finding that more of a task. Especially with cannabis-related business and right now banks are no help. For a business to acquire a line of credit or some type of lending your business must be able to have some type of financial record.

This usually tells banks and lenders how good you are at paying things back and how reliable you are to do so. The bigger obstacle for cannabis businesses is how do you show you are trustworthy with no credit history. Once again this due to financial institutions not working with cannabis businesses. Let’s look at a few steps to help jump over some red tape.

First, you should start a new business that is a separate company from your personal credit. This will help when it comes time to do your taxes. The second step to take is you need to register for your EIN number. Next thing to do is open a new bank account and make sure you can show that you have continuous income which shows financial stability. Again with banks not accepting cannabis money the last step may be next to impossible to do.

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Will Cannabis Banking Actually Happen?

The way financial institutions offer other industries various banking options is not the same for the cannabis industry. Although there is some grey area with cannabis and banks yet most banks won’t offer services for how high risk the industry is. This leaves many cannabis businesses left out from what other traditional retail businesses would have. Look past the risk banks also look at taking cannabis money as to much work. This would result in following regulations and keeping data on all money. This process has been established by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. Also, working with the large amounts of cash cannabis businesses generate may affect how a bank can operate.

With this roadblock between banks and cannabis money, it shuns cannabis businesses from establishing a form of credit. This issue alone is why the industry operates only in cash with very few places to keep it. Also, this issue can do much harm to future relationships with other companies and businesses. If a cannabis business can not establish a credit history no lender or bank can help. That’s why it’s important to have an industry as big as cannabis have some form of credit being reported to credit companies. This will tell other lenders and banks that a particular business is profitable enough to pay back any loans.

What Will The Future Of Cannabis Banking Become

It’s wild to think that an industry that is generating a high volume of cash is being blocked from showing the reliability needed to secure lending. Some feel if the cannabis business can earn the trust of financial institutions by being transparent with its earnings. This may be a step to banks feeling more comfortable with working with a cash-intensive business. Hopefully, with federal cannabis reform, it will help push cannabis banking in the direction needed to help out the industry.


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