Cannabidiol products account for more than just the cannabis plant itself, but also for any product containing traces of cannabis. Some elements of the cannabis plant, including CBD, do not produce similar effects to the primary psychoactive elements like THC (commonly associated with “getting high”). CBD elements can be used as anti anxiety and anti-inflammatory treatment. However, merchant processors like banks are still extremely hesitant to get involved with any transactions associated with marijuana even if psychoactive effects are void. Most businesses have to make due with cash-only sales without the help of companies like https://thesoutherninstitute.com/cbd-oil-credit-card-processing/.
Despite little change in policy from large banks like American Express, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana transactions and 9 have legalized its recreational use. Sales of cannabis reached $5.4 billion nationwide in 2015, and this number is growing. The sales treasury estimated that the figure will reach $7 billion this year.
So why won’t banks get on board? The answer can be summed up in three words; The Federal Government. There are still many federal drug and banking laws on the books which banks don’t want to stray from. These federal laws still prohibit production and selling. According to federal law, marijuana is still classed as a ‘Schedule 1″ drug. This means they class the drug in the same category as dangerous drugs like heroin.
As a result of these restrictions, the risk factors for banks overwhelmingly outweigh the benefits of allowing such transactions, as most of them don’t only operate in individual states where cannabis transaction laws have been lifted. Banks that handle money related to marijuana can still be charged with money laundering.
Police are happy with the law as it currently stands, as they are able to seize and money if they have suspicions that is has been involved in crime, even if not proven. Some of this money goes to their departments. With the current state of affairs and an agenda of border control, the situation is not looking any better for the marijuana business. Current attorney general Jeff Sessions has directed the Department of Justice to create seizure policies that increase the police’s take of confiscated cash. From this legislation it can be observed that despite the primary agenda of enforcing border control laws that are already in place, the current government seem to have a sub-agenda involving the reduction of drug dealing. Legal marijuana sales may suffer casualties as a result.
On the other hand, there is at least one community bank in Maryland; “Severn Savings”, that is working with the marijuana industry. However, holders have to pay high fees with the bank and can’t write checks or ask for loans if business involves marijuana transactions, in fear of scrutiny from the Federal law.
The fight for the industry is not over. In 2015, as part of the fight for marijuana’s total legalization, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado filed a bill called the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act. He suggests that only use of cash transactions for this businesses is a public safety risk and crime issue, inviting crime like robbery and tax evasion. He also suggests this adds to the difficulty of setting up small businesses. Ed Perlmutter thinks it is necessary to provide financial institutions with “certainty” that they can make business decisions without fear of penalty,