“We Need Federal Action” – Cannabis Business Times

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On July 11, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a Cannabis Banking Act to protect companies’ access to financial services, but what does that mean for the state’s industry?

Michael Sampson, a partner at Pittsburgh-based law firm Leech Tishman, said the legislation ultimately “allows financial institutions and insurance companies to do business with the Commonwealth cannabis industry. “. [in Pennsylvania]which is solely medical, without fear of prosecution or adverse consequences, simply for doing business with the cannabis industry.”

RELATED: Pennsylvania Governor Signs Cannabis Banking Legislation Into Law

Sampson says he anticipates that if and when Pennsylvania legalizes cannabis for recreational use, the state will change the legislation to apply to the adult consumption industry.

He says the measure is mostly symbolic, reaffirming the state’s protection of the cannabis industry, adding that there was no real risk that financial institutions or insurance companies would be prosecuted for doing business. with the industry before.

He believes the bill was prompted by the US Senate’s inaction on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would provide protections to financial institutions doing business with the legal cannabis industry. at the federal level. Cannabis banking legislation has “passed the U.S. House five times between 2019 and 2021, including twice as a stand-alone bill, but stalled before progressing through the Senate each time.” Cannabis time Previously reported.

“The fears that keep banks, financial institutions, and insurers from actually getting involved in the cannabis industry are federal laws and the risk of federal lawsuits,” he says. “It’s important legislation, but I’m not sure that ultimately it will move the needle. We need federal action. And personally, I don’t necessarily expect to see a change in financial institutions [and] behavior of insurance companies.

“I should add that it may have a positive effect on state chartered banks or credit unions, but on a more macro level I just think it’s a good thing, but it’s unlikely that it has a huge effect.”

Sampson notes that other states are taking action and enacting similar legislation due to a lack of federal action.

California passed a related measure into law in 2020. And in April, New York Senator Jeremy Cooney introduced a pair of bills that “would allow the New York Office of Cannabis Management to share information about a applicant or licensee with a financial institution that is interested in providing banking services to industry, CBT reported.

Sampson also expresses that passing a measure like this, whether at the state or federal level, is crucial to protecting cannabis businesses from theft or theft.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Building a Safety Plan for Your Dispensary

“Today we see repeated reports of theft and worse in states like Washington and elsewhere, and so until we get banking reform, the cannabis industry remains heavily dependent on cash,” says -he. “So this type of legislation, whether passed at the state level or, more importantly, at the federal level, has real potential to help protect not only banks and insurance companies that want to enter market, but protect the cannabis industry and their employees.”

Editor’s Note: Michael Sampson will be speaking at the Cannabis Conference from 3:10-4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23 on “Protect Your Store – Does Your Business Really Understand Security Risks and How to Manage Them?” session alongside Debby Goldsberry, Writer and Business Advisor at Green Rush Consulting, and Kris Krane, CEO and Director at Kranewreck Enterprises. In this session, experts will provide tips and information on how to handle a security event to ensure your store and employees are protected. Visit www.CannabisConference.com for more information and to register.

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