Why lawmakers want to review how New York's cannabis business banks

New York lawmakers will hold a public hearing on the myriad banking issues facing the state's cannabis industry on Thursday, May 11, the state Assembly announced. 

The hearing, to be led by Assembly Banks Committee Chair Pamela Hunter and Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce, and Industry Committee Chair Harry Bronson, is diving into what has been a long-standing problem for the nascent industry. Cannabis businesses — from medicinal cannabis enterprises to the newly set up adult-use cannabis stores — are cash-only businesses. That has led to challenges for security in accessing loans and doing basic recordkeeping. 

Cannabis continues to be labeled a controlled substance by the federal government even as the Biden administration has sought to ease rules for state-based businesses. In March, the Department of Justice announced it would allow for protections first outlined a decade ago to provide for a limited pathway to conducting some banking. 

The issue is just one of many facing New York's cannabis industry in recent months, as businesses have been slow to start. New York officials have sought to crack down on the sale of illegal cannabis under an agreement in the $229 billion state budget by boosting fines and giving regulators the ability to close businesses that sell without a license. 

Read more at ny1.com

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