• Mike King-Sadick

Jeffrey Friedland to Speak at the Florida Industrial Hemp Conference and Exhibition

September 27, 2019 - In what is tremendous news for America’s state-licensed marijuana industry, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that provides a “safe harbor” for banks who want to provide banking services for America’s fast-growing legal cannabis industry.

While legal marijuana businesses are legal at a state-level, marijuana is still illegal federally. Banks have been reluctant to bank the industry due to concerns that they could be “enabling narcotic trafficking.”

The bill, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, which is referred to as the SAFE Banking Act, passed with 91 Republicans voting for it and only one Democrat, Alabama Representative Terri Sewell, voting against it.

The big question is what the bill’s fate will be in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a big advocate and supporter of the hemp and CBD industries, has been reluctant to allow any marijuana related legislation to be introduced.

In commenting on the bill, a sponsor of the bill, Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, stated, “After six years of working on this bill, the SAFE Banking Act will go a long way in getting cash off our streets and providing certainty so financial institutions can work with cannabis businesses and employees." Perlmutter also stated, "Thousands of employees, businesses and communities across this country have been forced to deal in piles of cash because of the conflict between state and federal law."

To say that it’s been a challenge for state-licensed marijuana businesses to access the banking system, whether it’s a bank account or credit card processors, is a tremendous understatement. Banking issues are a major headache for the industry and a daily challenge for marijuana businesses, whether it’s paying bills, suppliers, and employees, or accepting credit cards from customers. The bill provides for marijuana businesses being able to open bank accounts, obtain bank loans, accept credit cards, and deposit funds into banks.

Our Conclusions

One of the main obstacles to the marijuana industry’s growth has been its access to the banking system. We can’t predict whether McConnell allows the bill to reach the floor of the Senate, but, we’re confident that with 11 U.S. states now having state-licensed cannabis programs, that this bill or something similar will be passed into law sooner rather than later.

According to Whitney Economics, the state-licensed marijuana industry added more than 64,000 jobs last year. With access to the banking system, the marijuana industry’s growth and job creation will accelerate significantly.

About Growth Advisory Group

Growth Advisory Group provides a variety of hands-on services to integrated cannabis businesses, cultivators, extractors manufacturers of edibles, and dispensaries and retail stores.

Growth Advisory Group assists cannabis businesses in determining and implementing appropriate growth strategies. We also assist businesses in managing their growth, which frequently is a challenge, in dealing with personnel, capital needs, and the 24-7 nature of the fast-growing and fast-evolving cannabis industry.

Growth Advisory Group also provides insight and data as to what is working, or as importantly, not working in other states and also provides top-to-bottom reviews of cannabis businesses, with the objective of aggressively scaling up revenue growth while focusing on bottom line financial performance.

The expertise of the principals of Growth Advisory Group includes having owned cannabis retail stores and grow facilities in Colorado, the leasing of extraction equipment in Northern California, the development of hemp and CBD businesses, and early participation in Canada’s legal cannabis industry. They have also been on the ground floor of cannabis research in the U.S. and Israel, and plant genetics in Israel.

Author: Jeffrey Friedland

Growth Advisory Group Contacts

Michael King-Sadick, Tel. 303-815-6261, Email michael@growthadvisorygroup.com

Jeffrey Friedland, Tel. 646-450-8909, Email jeffrey@growthadvisorygroup.com


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