Odds of new banking rules for the marijuana industry continue to grow
Two years ago, many people would have said that there was virtually no chance that Congress would make a move to protect marijuana businesses and banks so they could work together. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal laws, banks have been avoiding the industry like the plague, fearful of any repercussions that could come from the federal level. However, we’re now in 2019, the world is changing, marijuana is becoming more acceptable and, before the end of this year, banks could be freely allowed to shake hands with marijuana companies.
According to Isaac Boltansky, the director of policy research for Compass Point Research and Trading, there is now a 75% chance of “banking clarity” being given a pedestal during the current Congressional session. Others may not be as optimistic as Boltansky, but still see the odds as extremely high. The chief advocacy officer for the Credit Union National Association, Ryan Donovan, states, “The conditions are as good as they’ve ever been for legislation to proceed. 75% may be a little high, but [the odds] are better than they were in the last Congress.”
There is still a lot of work to be done – banking is just one of the issues that needs to be addressed on Capitol Hill. However, “safe haven” bills can be introduced quickly that would allow the cash-only marijuana industry to protect its people and its assets, while allowing companies to seek out loans and financial programs that will help them grow.
We’re already in February and about to enter March – the year is quickly moving and Congress could act before November, only nine months from now. Banks and marijuana business should start getting ready now and be ready to run once the trigger is pulled.