Cannabis Banking: What You Need to Know About Buying the Marijuana Industry

Marijuana is now legal in a variety of U.S. states, and sometimes, completely legal.

The cannabis industry is approximated to be worth $50 billion by 2020. With the massive growth of this market comes a requirement for banks to step up and provide monetary services to the cannabis business.

In this article, we'll talk about everything you need to understand about the Marijuana Banking Compliance Act, or H.R. 689. This bill, which was initially presented in January 2019, would need banks to deal with cannabis-related businesses as a legal business entity. We'll also go over the other cannabis banking concerns you require to know about.

What is the Cannabis Banking Compliance Act?
The Marijuana Banking Compliance Act, or H.R. 689, was initially presented in January 2019 by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). The bill would need financial institutions to deal with cannabis-related organizations as a legal business entity. What did the expense do? The expense established the structure for how banks can work with cannabis-related organizations. It developed a legal structure for cannabis banking, and it would also ensure banks do not lose out on any prospective monetary benefits from the cannabis industry.

How to Become a Cannabis Financial Institution?
When the Cannabis Banking Compliance Act is signed into law, banks will have 3 choices for dealing with cannabis-related businesses: i) offer financial services for cannabis-related companies; ii) provide non-financial services for cannabis-related organizations; or iii) decline to supply any services to cannabis-related services. To prevent breaching the law, financial institutions could pick to "wait-and-see" how things establish with the new legislation. For how long would this "wait-and-see" period be? There are currently no standards for for how long financial institutions could take previously making the final decision on whether or not to deal with cannabis-related businesses. This might leave banks in a tough position, due to the fact that they may find themselves with a large number of cannabis-related services getting banking services. What occurs then? To avoid breaching the law, financial institutions could choose to "wait-and-see" how things develop with the new legislation. How long would this "wait-and-see" period be? There are currently no guidelines for how long banks might take before making the decision on whether to work with cannabis-related services. This could leave banks in a tough position, due to the fact that they might find themselves with a a great deal of cannabis-related services getting banking services. What happens then? Banks could face significant fines, and even deal with potential criminal charges, should they choose to service cannabis-related services after the law is in place.

Issues with Banking the Marijuana Industry
The DEA has stated that cannabis is an Arrange I drug, which means it is regarded as having a high potential for abuse and the capacity for no or low healing value. This has actually led some banks to decline service to cannabis-related services. The American Bankers Association also issued an alerting to its members, stating that they need to" Exercise extreme caution when carrying out banking activities with entities associated with the cannabis market." The ABA went on to say that banks need to "make sure that cannabis-related activities are not performed through or performed by a checking account."

How to Bank the Cannabis Market
For banks looking to get into the cannabis banking organization, the procedure is relatively straightforward. The initial step is for the bank to identify a cannabis-related organization as a legal entity. The entity needs to have legitimate licenses from the state that it's operating in. Once the entity is determined as a legal business, the bank will work with the entity to open a checking account or a cash transfer service. When opening a represent a cannabis-related business, make sure to keep in mind the following: Recognize the entity as a cannabis-related company.

Note the entity is operating lawfully in the state that it's doing business in.

Keep in mind that banks can't open an account for a prohibited service.

Keep in mind business is following all suitable anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding requirements.

Bottom line

The future of marijuana banking is an interesting one, and it's clear that banks are going to require to get on board with the changing legal landscape. With the Cannabis Banking Compliance Act just recently presented, it's now simpler than ever for banks to deal with the marijuana industry. But with the legal landscape constantly altering, it is essential for banks to remain updated on their marijuana banking compliance so they don't lose out on any potential financial take advantage of the cannabis industry.

The present banking landscape for marijuana is challenging for both services and banks. It's vital that both the marijuana market and banks collaborate to develop a more steady and reputable banking system for marijuana services.


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