Next week, the Senate will be holding a hearing on July 23 by the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The Senate is making a move following a House cannabis banking bill that cleared that chamber’s Financial Services Committee with a bipartisan vote in March. Readers can follow the action on that bill for free on the Green Market Report under the Legislation tab.
That piece of legislation now has 206 cosponsors, almost half of the House while the Senate legislation has only 32 out of 100 senators signed on. The conservative politicians would prefer to stand down while cannabis is still federally illegal, but supporters of the legislation argue that forcing the industry to a cash system encourages theft and diversion.
Although many cannabis businesses continue to suffer from account closures and difficulty processing credit card transactions, there has been some advancement with regards to the banks and the industry. “We’ve seen incredible changes in the cannabis banking space in the last 2 years,” said Todd Kleparis, CEO of California-based Hardcar. The company is a leader in Cash-In-Transit (CIT), cannabis banking and vaulting, and cannabis financing. They currently operate out of 11 states, plus Washington D.C., and have plans to expand into 3 more states by the end of 2019
He added, “Our first banks were only in the hundreds of millions of dollars and our banks now are in the billions of dollars. Banks are becoming more open to cannabis, but the market demand still outweighs the number of banks legally banking this industry.”
Hardcar also announced that it can now safely transport and bank any amount of cash for any company in the United States. In an effort to secure the nation’s largest secured network of banks, the company has been able to establish routes for any CBD and Hemp company, anywhere in the country.
Last week the company said that it had secured a multi-billion dollar bank and now has the ability to offer cannabis loans and financing options for businesses looking to expand their operations.
“In the beginning, cannabis banking was only for high revenue cannabis businesses because banks could justify the larger expense to monitor and process all transactions. Nowadays, banks are accepting smaller businesses and the pace of adoption has radically increased. These new loan services bring a whole new dynamic to the cannabis industry and we’re proud to lead the industry with the largest collection of financial options. Now any CBD or Hemp location can apply for traditional land loans, and very shortly, THC locations will be able to do so as well. ”
“We believe banking still to be a critical part of the cannabis industry that needs more attention,” said Kleparis. While moving money is a critical part of the system credit card transactions are the piece of the puzzle holding many businesses back. This type of legislation would remove those barriers and help companies to behave like other more traditional businesses.
Credit unions seem to be the most favorable financial institutions for cannabis businesses that touch the plant, but even ancillary companies are experiencing difficulties. One accounting and bookkeeping firm that works with cannabis companies was closed by Chase. Others tell of being able to get accounts, but then get charged exorbitant fees by the financial institution
The challenge for the Senate is resolving the banking issue while cannabis remains federally illegal. This is the barrier to entry for the banks and they see anything else as a nonstarter.