Banks navigate hazy regulations to serve cannabis businesses; Jonathan Udell, Rose Law Group lawyer, comments

By Mengqi Sun | Wall Street Journal

Many financial institutions looking to offer banking services to the expanding number of legal cannabis growers and distributors in the U.S. are still limited by spotty regulations and expensive compliance efforts.

The disparities between federal and state laws governing the use of marijuana and hemp, and the differences across states, are inhibiting banks from stepping into what has become a lucrative and legal business in many areas. Regulators have issued scant guidance and some of the existing advisories are outdated or set few clear obligations for banks, such as information that a bank should ask for from potential clients, financial institutions say.


“Studies show that cannabis businesses are associated with increased tax revenue, high employment, and rising housing values, in addition to decreased opioid use. It is past time that our government recognizes these businesses’ contributions to society and brings our federal regulations into alignment with successful state laws. Many advocates believe a successful election this November will push the MORE Act across the finish-line in Washington D.C., leading to the descheduling of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.” 

Jonathan Udell, Rose Law Group Cannabis Lawyer
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