New York Calls on Banking Institutions to Work with Cannabis Businesses

In early July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his support and guidance to New York State chartered banks and credit unions instructing them to work with legal industrial hemp and cannabis businesses in the state.

“The ability to establish a banking relationship is a challenge that legal industries face unlike no other,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the federal government continues to sow discord surrounding the medical marijuana and industrial hemp businesses, New York has made significant progress in creating a supportive economic development and regulatory landscape for these companies.”

Due to the cannabis and hemp plants continued classification as a Schedule One Drug, most banking institutions remain afraid of their branches being shut down or receiving stiff fines for offering banking services to businesses involved the sector. Though recreational cannabis states are currently working to find ways around this issue, the industry continues to be an run primarily with cash transactions. This causes businesses to pay their taxes, employees, and bills with cash which is risky and leaves them open to theft.

The Department of Financial Services has now assured that they would refrain from issuing fines or penalties to banks that offer their services to businesses operating within New York State law. Mr. Cuomo believes this that there is a huge upside for that states economy to allow cultivators, processors, manufacturers, and distributors to legally bank their money within banking institutions.

The cannabis and hemp industry continue to gain the public’s acceptance rapidly but, political changes have remained gradual. The more support the industry gains from public authorities and financial markets around the country the more they will have the opportunity to flourish.