In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he supports allowing canna-businesses access to banks, according to a Forbes report, adding that the department is “reviewing the existing guidance” and doesn’t want to rescind it without having a new policy in place.
“I assure you that we don’t want bags of cash. We want to make sure that we can collect our necessary taxes and other things.” – Mnuchin to the House Financial Services Committee via Forbes
The pressure is on federal regulators to address the cannabis industry banking issue. Last Month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, which provided protections from federal interference for state-approved cannabis businesses; however, regulators at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) subsequently said they were not informed prior to the policy change and indicated that the agency’s 2014 guidance was still in place. Later that month, attorney generals from 17 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam sent a letter to Congress urging them to advance legislation allowing legal canna-businesses “to bring that commerce into the banking system.” A bi-partisan group of senators also sent a letter to the agency asking them to explicitly allow banks to serve the industry.
According to Sept 2017 data from FinCEN, more than 300 banks and nearly 100 credit unions are currently providing services to legal cannabis operators.