The Republican chair of a key U.S. Senate panel signaled Tuesday that he’s receptive to cannabis banking reform however does have some issues.

“I believe a case has been made fairly strongly right here about the necessity to get the banking business points referring to cannabis resolved,” Senate Banking Committee chair Mike Crapo, from Idaho, mentioned close to the conclusion of a landmark listening to on banking points dealing with cannabis firms.

Crapo holds the important thing as to whether reform such because the SAFE Banking Act is voted on in his committee and superior to the complete Republican-controlled chamber.

SAFE, which has handed a Home committee, would allow monetary establishments to serve cannabis-related companies with out worry of federal punishment.

On the similar time, Crapo mentioned, a “fairly robust” case was made on the listening to that legacy money – forex collected by cannabis firms – “poses an actual downside” in offering entry to illicit actions equivalent to cartels and cash laundering.

Hashish banking reform, Crapo concluded, “is a crucial, complicated concern that we have to get proper.”

Most committee members who requested questions on the listening to expressed assist for reform, however solely a couple of third of the 25-member committee was current. Crapo mentioned others had been at an FBI briefing or one other committee listening to.

John Lord, CEO of Colorado-based medical marijuana firm LivWell Enlightened Well being, mentioned his agency has struggled to keep up financial institution accounts and at the moment pays $3,000 a month for one. He mentioned dispensary gross sales are in money, and safety is a giant concern.

Lord additionally mentioned it’s “extremely troublesome if not inconceivable” for a brand new cannabis firm to launch with out entry to financial institution loans except it may possibly faucet rich buyers.

Joanne Sherwood, talking on behalf of the American Bankers Affiliation, famous that the SAFE Banking Act would enhance monetary transparency and oversight in addition to assist legislation enforcement determine suspicious transactions.

Jeff Smith may be reached at [email protected]