Allowing legal cannabis-based business access to mainstream financial services is a public safety issue, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle told Forbes this week. Rachel Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., will testify on CUNA’s behalf before the Senate Banking Committee next week, and Nussle framed the debate for an article about the hearing.
“[Legal cannabis business] is an $8.3 billion industry that’s currently being forced to operate almost entirely in cash," Nussle said. "While 33 states, territories and [Washington] D.C. have legalized cannabis, it’s been overwhelmingly difficult to provide these businesses financial services because handling transactions are currently considered money laundering. Credit unions have been leading the way in helping to get this money off the streets.
“We are dedicated to finding a solution to this ongoing challenge that impacts every community around the country and look forward to working with Senate leaders during this hearing and with Congress at large,” Nussle added.
CUNA supports the Secure and Fair Banking Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would protect financial institutions that provide services to legal cannabis businesses and