US: Feds release updated cannabis banking info, including new state-level breakdown

As congressional leaders work to finalize a cannabis banking and expungement bill that they hope to pass during the lame-duck session, a federal agency has released new and expanded data on the state of banking in the cannabis industry under the prohibitionist status quo.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been tracking cannabis banking trends for the better part of the past decade. And this week, the agency released a new comprehensive spreadsheet that provides updated details about how many financial institutions are working with cannabis businesses, including a state-level breakdown for the first time.

At a top level, the takeaway is that the number of banks and credit unions that reported actively working with cannabis companies in the third quarter of the 2022 Fiscal Year remained relatively stable, with 784 financial institutions across the U.S. filing requisite “Suspicious Activity Reports,” or SARs, for cannabis-related business (MRB) clients.

That’s slightly down from the first quarter of the fiscal year, much higher than when FinCEN started collecting the data in 2014, but generally consistent with the agency’s trend line since 2019. Even with more state cannabis markets coming online, the industry’s relationship with the traditional financial sector seems to have largely stabilized.

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