Federal Agencies Provide Guidance for Banks Working with Hemp Providers

Washington, DC: Federal banking agencies released a joint statement on Tuesday acknowledging that banks and other financial institutions may work with those in the commercial hemp industry.

The new guidance memo states, "[B]anks are no longer required to file suspicious activity reports (SAR) for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations." The statement was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FinCEN, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.

Banks have historically been reluctant to work with any businesses involved with the production or sale of cannabis-related products.

Legislation signed into federal law in 2018 descheduled low-THC hemp and products derived from industrial hemp plants from the Controlled Substances Act. In October, the USDA issued interim rules governing the commercial hemp cultivation.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.