Cresco Labs Comments On The Passage Of The Safe Banking Act In The U.S. House Of Representatives

ILLINOIS:  Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, today provided comments on the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (“SAFE Banking Act.”)

“The passage of the SAFE Banking Act by the U.S. House of Representatives represents a significant first step in the effort to provide stability and security to the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry,” said Cresco Labs CEO and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell.

“By allowing cannabis companies to access commercial banking services and end their reliance on cash, the SAFE Banking Act would facilitate a safer operating environment for all stakeholders. We continue to see extremely encouraging progress made from a legislative standpoint at both the federal and state levels that is contributing to the normalization of the cannabis industry. The passage of the SAFE Banking Act will also provide access to banking and capital to fuel diversity and make the cannabis industry more inclusive for everyone. The bipartisan support shown in passing the SAFE Banking Act through the House demonstrates the clear merits of this legislation, and we look forward to similar support being shown as the bill moves to the Senate.”

Report: More Banks Providing Services To Cannabis-Specific Businesses

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A growing number of banks and credit unions are providing financial services to marijuana-related businesses, according to data released by FinCEN (the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and first publicized by the news portal MarijuanaMoment.net.

The report acknowledged that the number of financial institutions actively banking with marijuana-related businesses rose from 401 in October 2017 to 486 in September 2018.

Although the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule I prohibited substance discourages banks from cooperating with state-licensed cannabis businesses, a 2014 US Treasury Department memo provided guidance to financial institutions wishing to transact with the marijuana industry. However, that memo was rescinded by the Justice Department earlier this year.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

 

Bitcoin’s Rise Solidifies The Intersection Of Cannabis And Cryptocurrency

NEW YORK: As bitcoin’s price continues its meteoric rise, which has seen the cryptocurrency skyrocket in value from just under $1,000 at the start of 2017 to above $10,000 in November, a number of companies have taken steps to benefit from the growth of the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.

One area of the industry that appears to offer significant growth potential is the application of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to sectors of the economy, such as the cannabis industry, that are blocked from accessing banking services. 

The intersection of the growth of the cannabis and cryptocurrency markets has created a promising environment for firms looking to capitalize on the robust growth currently occurring in these industries. Legalization of the use of cannabis for medical and recreational use by governments around the world has led to powerful demand for the product, which shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. This is reflected in a report by Grand View Research, which projects that the cannabis market will reach $55.8 billion by 2025.

Similarly, the ability of the blockchain to provide a decentralized, encrypted ledger to store records in an efficient, verifiable manner without requiring assistance from intermediaries has facilitated growth in the cryptocurrency market. The blockchain serves as the backbone of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and its radical transparency has enabled the use of bitcoin to process high risk transactions, such as those in the cannabis industry. In a sign of the growing mainstream acceptance of the cryptocurrency, the U.S. CFTC recently gave approval to the CME CBOE exchanges to start trading bitcoin future contracts on Dec. 18 of this year.

 

CannaScore Offers Free Compliance Auditing Tool After Bank Revoked Its Credit Card Processing Privileges

COLORADO: CS Compliance Systems, developers of CannaScore – the world’s first real-time regulatory compliance auditing application for the cannabis industry, announced that its credit card processing privileges were revoked after their bank realized that CannaScore was providing services to the marijuana industry. In response, the company announced that it is now offering its products free of charge, on a limited basis.

“It is absurd that we had our credit card processing revoked,” said Thomas Smith, Managing Partner of CS Compliance Systems. “CannaScore is a software application that helps cannabis businesses stay compliant with the complex web of regulations that govern this sector. Ironically, some of our biggest customers are banks, because they like to use our auditing tools to give them assurance that their cannabis-based business customers are following all regulations.”

After the company had its credit card processing revoked, management decided to offer the award winning product suite at no cost, for a limited time. Cannabis growers, producer processors, dispensaries, retailers, extract and edible manufacturers, along with those that do business in the marijuana sector, including insurance companies, landlords, and yes, banks, can now visit the CannaScore website and use the system for no charge.

“Our team comes from within the compliance and cannabis industries,” Smith said. “We are not Wall Street outsiders. We are a team of dedicated professionals that knows this industry inside-out, and has developed an innovative program designed to protect cannabis-businesses,” he added. “Now we share some of the same challenges with banking that our customers face on a daily basis.”

To take advantage of the free use of the CannaScore system, log on to www.cannascore.net and follow the link to “Free Trial.”

Bridging The Gap Between Dispensaries And Banks

OREGON: In the first week of recreational pot sales, Oregon dispensaries raked in $11 million.

But the multi-million dollar question remains: Where should people in the industry be putting their money?

Because marijuana is illegal federally, most banks won’t take the money.

“We’ve been repeatedly turned down because our company is cannabis based,” said Dan of.

Last year the Justice Department gave the go-ahead to banks to do business with the industry. But many feel there’s still too much risk, leaving business owners to keep the cash in their shops or homes, and opening them up to criminals.