The financial services industry has been waiting with bated breath for guidance from its regulators on banking hemp and hemp-derivatives like CBD. On Tuesday, December 3, federal regulators issued a joint statement attempting to “provide clarity” on the issue. Unfortunately, that guidance had landed with a distinct thud.
Rather than providing practical guidance to the industry or a roadmap to banking hemp businesses, the regulators simply directed banks to confirm that their customers are operating in compliance with all federal and state laws, and to call the USDA or FDA if they have any questions about what that means. In the statement, financial institutions were also directed by FinCEN to stop automatically filing SARs in connection with hemp business activities, so long as the businesses are operating in full compliance with laws. Again, financial institutions are urged to call other non-banking federal and state agencies, such as the USDA or FDA (or states or tribes), if they need help figuring that out. Continue Reading