Just ahead of the Senate Banking Committee’s vote on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has reported that a total of 812 banks and credit unions filed reports in the 2d quarter 2023 indicating they are actively providing banking services to cannabis industry participants, referred to by FinCEN as Marijuana Related Businesses, which is the highest number since FinCEN began reporting on cannabis banking activity in 2014. However, those 800 or so banks are just a fraction of the thousands of FDIC banks that could be providing banking services to the cannabis industry. Even with the increase in banks providing their services to the cannabis industry since 2014, the industry remains burdened by a dearth of banking. Cannabis companies, employees, and consumers are not able to access traditional financing, payroll services, credit cards, ACH, and debit services, which are the lifeblood of other consumer packaged goods industries. Meanwhile, banks are routinely analyzing entering the cannabis space, but deciding against it because of the cost of compliance, among other reasons. SAFE Banking would provide access to critical banking services.
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