“The cannabis banking bill was much improved this year by industry-requested explicit protections for banking and credit card processing services for hemp farmers and CBD businesses,” said the U.S. Hemp Roundtable in a statement. “A similar bill died in the upper body last year, but with the change in party control, its prospects appear bright.” The hemp provisions in this year’s bill differentiate it from the previous three efforts. The cannabis fortunes have steadily improved over the last quarter-century, from when California became the first state to approve medical marijuana back in 1996.
“The banking drama I believe has impacted hemp just as much as, if not more than, MMJ,” said Rick Trojan, president of the Hemp Industries Association trade group. “Far too many of our members have had bank accounts closed and lost access to services vital to growth of their companies.” This latest attempt is also noteworthy in that it now includes hemp and hemp CBD companies in with the larger get-high marijuana businesses.
Related: Consumer groups urge Congress to reject CBD legislation Related: Congressmen ask Justice, USDA to keep DEA in check over hemp CBD
“I personally had a more difficult time getting banking with hemp interests—farming, consulting, transportation—than I did owning a medical edibles company in Colorado,” said Trojan. “I’ve had several accounts closed and my credit history destroyed as a cannabis entrepreneur. Implementation of this bill should help alleviate those stressors.” Widespread consumer support Even when hemp CBD became more or less legalized with the 2014 farm bill, many a local police department conflated hemp and CBD with marijuana—even as medical marijuana laws were sweeping the country, and even when Colorado became the first state to straight-up legalize marijuana for the fun of it, in what became known as recreational, or adult-use, purposes.
It was 2004 when the Hemp Industries Association successfully sued the kingpin drug warriors the Drug Enforcement Agency, which wanted to outlaw hemp seeds that were used for nutritional purposes only. Even then, a curious part of the cannabis story is that hemp, and especially but not exclusively CBD, has often been more illegal than marijuana.
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