The cannabis industry failed to get the banking legislation it wanted yet again last week — but so-called SAFE Banking may not have been the panacea that many had hoped for.
There’s still a sliver of hope that the bill, which failed to get attached to the defense budget last week, may yet get attached to an omnibus funding package before the end of the year. But even if it doesn’t, many say it won’t be the end of the world for a battle-hardened industry that has already found workarounds. In fact, keeping an industry that’s prone to hype more lean could even have some benefits.
Companies hope that if SAFE passes, they will gain more institutional investors, list on major stock exchanges, and stop operating in mountains of unwieldy cash. Yet they’ve already found workarounds to many of these problems. Because retailers can’t take credit cards, many turned to cashless ATMs (and are now adopting other alternatives as cashless ATMs shut down). State-charted banks and credit unions have also created a booming business in serving cannabis companies.
Still, the industry saw the bill as symbolic — and a potential sign that the winds in Washington were shifting in favor of cannabis.
To read the complete article, go to www.bloomberg.com