The world of medical marijuana and cannabis, in general, has long been plagued with limited access to traditional business services. These include banking, insurance, and other vital aspects of running a business. While some solutions have been tailor-made for the emerging cannabis industry, such as cannabis-specific insurance providers. Yet, there still remains a big hole within the cannabis industry for access to traditional banking. This leads to problems for cannabis businesses and even oftentimes consumers who for all too long have been forced to pay with cash only in many dispensaries across the nation. With the Oklahoma medical marijuana program approaching a year in operational status, the conversation about opening up cannabis banking is overdue. That is not to mention the 20+ years cannabis has been legalized in other markets for medical and then recreational use, where banking access was heavily or completely restricted. With that said, we are thrilled to see so many Attorney Generals across the nation signing on to support banking reform for marijuana businesses.
State Attorney General signs a joint letter requesting medical marijuana banking
According to a national news source, Forbes, the Oklahoma State attorney general signs joint letter to request medical marijuana businesses have access to banking to the federal government. This letter was signed by over 38 attorney generals across the nation. All of whom readily agree that cannabis banking access should be a priority for the federal government to clear up. These top state legal officials have sent their request after 17 top state treasury officials across the country requested a similar change earlier last week. According to the story, the state officials want to see legislation passed at the national level to protect any financial institution that works with cannabis companies. While the movement has gained some momentum, it recently also saw a big endorsement from the National Association of Attorneys Generals. All of which shows promising signs for an issue that has challenged all of the marijuana businesses for too long.
Medical marijuana banking, an on-going problem perhaps solved soon?
The problem is without traditional banking access businesses are left liable and with more of a burden to track their incoming and outgoing money. Cash flow as it is formally referred to can be a huge challenge for cannabis companies even though state-regulated and legally operating medical marijuana businesses has been in existence in at least one state for over 20 years. It leads to logistical challenges for businesses such as how to pay your taxes in all cash, which the IRS actually will charge more for having to spend the time to count your cash by hand. All of which is simply insane for an industry which has brought in billions of dollars of economic growth for the country. Furthermore, the burden put onto patients and customers looking to purchase cannabis oftentimes have to deal with cash only solutions. While there exists a robust card processing solution which has been pieced together specifically for the cannabis sector, it remains expensive and not as convenient as traditional processors. All of these burdens suggest it is high time for a change.
All and all, we really do hope to see a solution to the cannabis banking problem sometime in the near future. It would not be another more convincing sign to the cannabis sector but also further legitimize the same as a small but mighty pillar to the American economy. While this solution may take some time to pass because it needs to get approval from the National Congress, which has been slow to act in the past. There has been a recent wave of support for cannabis legalization in the past few years which has tipped the number of states with marijuana programs and the number of people supporting marijuana prohibition ending which should be a good signal change is coming soon.
As always, if you ever have any questions about CBD or cannabis in general, we with The Peak Dispensary are always happy to help where we can. Stop by the store and ask a member of our staff for assistance anytime!
Until next time friends, stay well!