Today is the day I remind you all that hemp is federally legal. Why do I remind you of this? It’s simple - we’ve been hearing comments similar to this more and more of late - “We can’t do anything with hemp. It’s not legal.” Who have we been hearing these comments from? *Get your tissues out folks*....Financial Institutions.
I can’t decide whether these types of comments, coming from the very people who decide who gets to bank and who doesn’t, makes me more sad or more frustrated. It’s definitely some combo of both. Perhaps it’s sadness from feeling like financial industry leaders failed to properly educate bankers on the hemp industry or frustration because it feels like, to at least some extent, bankers simply brushed any chance for education on the industry under the rug - simply because it looks and smells like THC cannabis.
So let me sum up hemp legalization here for you today. Hemp was federally legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill. The passage of this bill removed hemp from the definition of THC Cannabis in the Controlled Substance Act. All 50 states have now passed their own hemp laws and most hemp program plans for each state have already been approved by the USDA, as required by the Farm Bill.
While hemp is from the same plant as THC cannabis, there is one distinct difference. Hemp contains nominal amounts of Delta-9 THC, 0.3% or less to be exact, while THC cannabis contains greater than 0.3% Delta-9. Why does that matter? Delta-9 is what causes the psychoactive effects typically associated with consuming THC Cannabis.
What does all this mean and why does it matter? It means for the last nearly 3 years, hemp has been federally legal and that despite it being legal, many financial institutions and service providers have done little to educate themselves on the industry. It means that there are hemp businesses in your communities that are not being banked or offered financial services pertinent to the survival and growth to their business.
While we are aware that serving the hemp industry may not be in every financial institution or service provider's risk tolerance or business plan, we urge you to not blanket statement a “no” to serving this severely underserved industry.
Need more education on this topic? Contact RiskScout to learn more.