SAFE Banking Act to be Refiled on Heels of $17.5 Billion in U.S. Cannabis Sales in 2020


<![CDATA[Shannon Price | Adobe StockState-legal cannabis companies aren’t stashing large stacks of cash behind walls or rubber-banded bankrolls in hidden vaults. Helping motor more than $17.5 billion of legal cannabis sales in the U.S. in 2020, there were 515 banks and 169 credit unions providing services to cannabis-related businesses at the end of last year, according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) quarterly cannabis banking update. But those banks are not the “national associations” of the world. Big financial institutions, like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and PNC, are not going to get into the cannabis space directly, unless there’s more formalized federal reform, said Jonathan Havens, a partner at Saul, Ewing, Arnstein and Lehr’s Philadelphia-based law firm. Counseling clients on regulatory, compliance, enforcement and transactional matters, Havens has companies in the cannabis industry turn to him for advice on how to get and keep their products on the market, where access to banking comes in handy. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s FinCEN, banks can accept cannabis-related deposits, but there are several compliance steps those institutions need to take, such as filing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). When the FinCEN issued guidance in 2014 to clarify the expectations for financial institutions seeking to provide services to cannabis-related businesses, it opened the door for banks to jump into the space—but that door only opened so far. “I think a lot of these bigger banks said, ‘You know what? The cannabis industry is just not big enough business to us. And, so, it’s not worth it to us,’” Havens said. “The risk isn’t worth it to them.”Without banking reform, like the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which is expected to be refiled in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 18, as first reported by Marijuana Moment, financial institutions that…

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Source : SAFE Banking Act to be Refiled on Heels of .5 Billion in U.S. Cannabis Sales in 2020

reposted by Cannabis News World

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