Survey Indicates Most Bankers Want To Serve Cannabis Businesses

More than 30 states have enacted medical and adult-use cannabis laws over the past two decades, but because marijuana is federally illegal in the U.S., the industry has been primarily tied to a cash-based system.

While some have managed to find ways around dealing solely with cash, federal restrictions still prevent banks from working with the cannabis industry as they do with other businesses.

A recent survey conducted by Promontory Interfinancial Network (PIN) indicates that the majority of bankers in the country would like to work with cannabis businesses, seeing them as an opportunity for growth in what they perceive as a somewhat uncertain future for the U.S. economy.

“Like the rest of us, bankers are on the fence as to which direction the economy is headed,” said PIN President and CEO, Mark Jacobsen. “The good news is that bankers may be feeling more positive about their industry as this quarter’s survey shows banker confidence on its first upswing in five quarters.”

From April 2-12, 2019, executives from 453 unique financial institutions across the U.S. participated in PIN’s Bank Executive Business Outlook Survey, representing more than eight percent of the country’s banks.

Eighty-two percent of those surveyed responded that they would like to be able to serve businesses that sell cannabis commercially.

Legislators re-introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act into the U.S. House of Representatives in March and a companion bill in the Senate in April which, if passed, would create protections for institutions that provide financial services for legitimate cannabis-related businesses.