The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed a bill that would let banks provide financial services to hemp producers without more strict compliance standards set for the marijuana industry.
The SAFE Banking Act, which addresses banking issues generally, includes language that would clear the way for hemp stakeholders’ to get loans, open bank accounts and use credit card services — all of which have been difficult for hemp firms to obtain despite full legalization of hemp brought on by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Under the Farm Bill, banks and payment processing companies already have the legal coverage they need to service industrial hemp companies, but many have been reluctant to do so.
The U.S. Senate must now approve the measure before it goes to the President for signing.
“Banks want to serve their communities and support their local economies, but they need clear, unequivocal assurance from their regulators that hemp is distinguishable from cannabis,” the American Bankers Association said in congressional testimony last summer.