A board member and former chairman of the federal National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is sharply criticizing Congress for failing to reform marijuana laws, and he announced on Thursday that he will be taking steps to push lawmakers to enact policy changes to help financial institutions and stakeholders caught in the federal-state cannabis conundrum. NCUA’s Rodney Hood said at the PBC Conference that he’s “concerned that the legal and regulatory infrastructure surrounding the cannabis industry is not evolving quickly enough,” and congressional inaction is largely to blame. He also said that he feels legalization at the federal level is an inevitability. To help fill the policy gap, the regulator is calling for the creation of an interagency working group of federal financial regulatory agencies to develop a “principles-based approach to cannabis banking” and “deliver a preliminary regulatory framework that we can share with other regulators and members of Congress who share our concern about addressing these problems.” “Let me be clear about where I stand,” he said, according to his remarks as prepared for delivery that was obtained by Marijuana Moment. “It is time for federal action to clarify and harmonize the laws and regulations surrounding the state-legal cannabis industry and marijuana-related businesses so that this industry can take part in the legitimate financial services industry.” Hood is a longtime regulator at NCUA, an independent federal agency that provides deposit insurance to credit unions. He served from 2005 to 2009 under the Bush administration, was named chairman by President Donald Trump in 2019 and served for two years before transitioning to a board position. That long-term service under multiple administrations makes Hood’s comments on marijuana policy all the more noteworthy. Rarely do regulators openly take such forceful policy positions, especially those that aren’t necessarily shared by the administrations with which they work.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 09/09/2021 09:59:00