Times of CBD reports…….Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who is presently working to secure the Democratic nomination for president, issued a letter to the financial authorities, requesting information on banking services for hemp businesses. According to an article from Marijuana Moment, responses were provided by the heads of five federal financial regulatory agencies, recognizing that hemp has been made legal through the Farm Bill last year. Based on that legalization, the way that financial institutions interact with hemp-based businesses is evolving.
One regulatory body stated that the previous policies for marijuana businesses are not applicable to hemp businesses anymore. She added that she has “personally discussed” these differences within Washington, D.C., as well as across the country. However, the clarity over what the new policies actually are is murky, as all five letters from the agencies have different variations on what is actually happening or going to happen.
The response letters came from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Farm Credit Administration (FCA) and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Chairman Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve stated that its banks will follow the appropriate procedures for risk, but the authority doesn’t plan to offer specific guidance. Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting made similar comments, saying that financial services are “matters of banker judgement.” CEO Jeffrey Hall of FCA only noted that his agency will be watching “USDA’s development of hemp program authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and will provide additional guidance, as necessary.”