A newly proposed bill making the rounds could make remove major roadblocks in doing business for the hemp and CBD industries.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act cleared the House last week by a majority of 321-103 and now heads to the Senate. The bill offers protections that enable CBD and hemp companies to more easily work with financial institutions like banks.
A key provision ensures financial institutions will not face federal punishment for providing safe locations for hemp financial transactions. Federal financial regulators will also issue formal guidance to these institutions about the legality of CBD and hemp commerce.
“I’m fairly confident that either the SAFE Act or STATES Act will be passed,” said Rob DiPisa, co-chair of law firm Cole Schotz’s Cannabis Law Group, to MarketWatch. “I think the industry has come too far. The cat’s out of the bag, and it’s not going to disappear, so banking needs to happen.”
The American Bankers Association is also voicing their support for the SAFE Banking Act. In January, they sent a letter to the heads of U.S. financial regulatory agencies to ask for clarification on how banks can work with hemp businesses.
The Dangers Of “All-Cash” Businesses
“Unbanked” businesses must operate largely in cash and this makes them bigger targets for robberies or other violent crimes. These businesses also have greater difficulties receiving loans, insurance and advice from financial experts.
This is becoming a bigger issue as CBD sales show no signs of slowing down. A new analysis by Cowen & Co. suggests the CBD oil market could be a $16 billion business in the United States as soon as 2025.
We encourage all Lazarus Naturals customers to take action on this issue. E-mail your Senators and tell them to vote in support of the SAFE Banking Act. You can personalize the message with your story about hemp or CBD-related problems with banking and merchant services.
Click here to get the contact information for your Senators.