CA Proposal: Financial Service Access for Cannabis Businesses

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Recently, California state cannabis licensing authorities — including the Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Department of Public Health — provided notice to the public of proposed emergency regulations to implement the provisions of Assembly Bill 1525 (Jones-Sawyer, 2020).

The California Credit Union League supported AB 1525 on behalf of credit unions serving cannabis businesses.

The new proposed regulations are intended to facilitate greater access to financial services for licensed cannabis businesses who face challenges obtaining banking, insurance and other financial services commonly available to other businesses. They create a pathway for licensees to authorize sharing of non-public information with selected financial institutions and provide a mechanism for financial institutions to more readily conduct the federally-required reviews of the cannabis business.

By reducing the burden of providing financial services to cannabis businesses, more financial institutions may be willing to provide services, thereby reducing the need to keep cash on-hand and improving public safety.

Two announcements are forthcoming that will provide the finding of emergency and notice of proposed emergency regulations, as well as the text of proposed emergency regulations. The proposed regulatory text and supporting documents can also be viewed at the following web pages:

Following the required minimum five-working day notice to the public, the licensing authorities will file the emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The five-calendar day formal public comment period begins when OAL publishes the proposed regulations as being “under review” on its website.

Public comments must be submitted to both OAL and the bureau to be considered.

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