Hood urges action on banking services for cannabis-related businesses

Speaking Thursday, Rodney Hood, NCUA board member, reiterated comments he made last year urging federal action to normalize banking services for cannabis-related businesses.

Speaking to the Emerging Markets Coalition in Washington, D.C., Hood said that he did not believe enough progress had been made on “this pressing issue,” since his previous comments on the matter were made to the Payments, Banking and Compliance Conference last August, and that the nation is not well on its way to having a framework to use to move forward.

“I emphasized that marijuana legalization is ultimately inevitable on the federal level, and as such, we need to clarify and harmonize federal banking laws and regulations as they pertain to the state-legal cannabis industry and marijuana-related businesses,” Hood stated. “I argued — and I believe I may have staked out the clearest position on this question of any federal financial regulator, to date — that the legal and regulatory infrastructure must evolve so this growing industry can take part in the mainstream financial services industry. I urged Congressional action, which needs to happen sooner, rather than later.”

Admitting some frustration for the lack of more progress, Hood said he does continue to be optimistic about the potential for cannabis banking reform, and can point toward a number of reassuring signs, including the passage of the SAFE Act by the House of Representatives.

Hood’s full comments can be accessed on the NCUA website.

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