Many different organizations and politicians have called for reforms in the banking industry in order to allow those institutions to work with marijuana businesses. And now in New York, that may finally become reality.
New York’s Department of Financial Services issued new policies earlier this month calling on banks within the state to work with legal medical marijuana businesses. The department noted that forcing cannabis companies to work only in cash creates a public safety issue, and also creates risks for people invested in those businesses.
Under the new guidelines, New York will not punish any state-chartered bank or credit union that works with a medical marijuana business as long as those banks are compliant with all other regulations.
Unfortunately, this may not be enough for the cannabis industry. Most banks are more worried about federal regulation than state regulation, which is why they avoid working with marijuana businesses. So while there may be a few state banks that begin working with them, the vast majority of banking options will still be denied to them.
Although this could become an even bigger deal if New York legalizes recreational marijuana in the near future. Many prominent politicians and state officials have expressed support for doing so, and allowing those legal cannabis businesses access to at least state banks could be highly beneficial.
(h/t Marijuana Business Daily)