The evolution of the legal marijuana industry over the last decade is among the most striking social and cultural changes in recent memory. After decades of prohibition, today 36 states have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes, with 18 states permitting recreational use for adults. BDSA, a leading industry research firm, reports that in 2020 legal cannabis sales in the United States topped $17.5 billion, a 46 percent increase over the previous year. Yet at the same time, many marijuana-related businesses (MRB) and their employees lack access to financial services, owing to the fact that the federal government has not acted to update banking laws to accommodate this burgeoning industry. As a result, many MRBs are unable to secure commercial loans on reasonable terms or access electronic payment systems, which forces them to conduct transactions on a cash basis. This untenable situation is creating confusion and uncertainty while stymieing the industry’s growth.
Marijuana Moment, 10/07/2021