Jonathan writes ……Hemp Industry Leaders:
Last night, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), joined by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), introduced H.R. 4711, the Industrial Hemp Banking Act. As you will see in the attached language, this is an effort to help deal with a continuing problem for our industry — to identify financial institutions willing to engage in transactions regarding hemp. While we strongly believe that participants in state hemp pilot programs are permitted under current law to engage in interstate commerce, and that banks should be able to participate in these transactions, many federally-chartered institutions have been hesitant. We are hopeful that passage of this legislation will provide absolute comfort to financial institutions, easing an enormous burden for our industry.
Please note that upon the advice of the Roundtable, Rep. Barr included language that extends protection to third parties down the supply chain that use pilot program-grown hemp, as well as companies that engage “in commerce with industrial hemp products that are exempted from the definition of a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.” The latter provision would ensure that this law would be viable should Rep. Jamie Comer’s HR 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, pass, and/or otherwise the pilot program regime is replaced by a permanent hemp exemption from the CSA.
H.R.4711: To create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to industrial hemp legitimate businesses, and for other purposes.
As I don’t need to remind anyone, legislation is a sausage-making process. This bill could pass on its own, could be attached to HR 3530, or perhaps be attached to the 2018 Farm Bill which is a must-pass congressional item next year. We will keep monitoring the situation and update you in the coming months.
In the meantime, please review, and if you have any suggestions on how to improve the bill, please don’t hesitate to contact me.