State Senate Banks Committee Chairman James Sanders, Jr., D-Metropolitan, held a symposium last week focused on marijuana banking. The symposium addressed the banking challenges faced by cannabis companies and workers as the industry expands nationwide, while remaining illegal at the federal level.
The discussion addressed how state legalization of medical or recreational marijuana will not completely resolve all cannabis-related issues, and what ways these obstacles can be tackled.
Several panel discussions took place, including issues facing lenders and businesses; legal issues with starting a cash-only business; cannabis banking solutions; and how other states have addressed the legalization issue.
Visions FCU participated in the cannabis banking solutions panel, reiterating the need for safe harbor legislation for credit unions at the federal level and continued support from New York state for credit unions to engage in cannabis banking.
The New York Credit Union Association had staff in attendance for the symposium and assisted Visions FCU with developing their testimony.
The Association strongly supports legislation at the federal level that would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions, including credit unions, serving marijuana businesses in states where it is legal to do so.