Hemp firms raised more than $230 million in the first five months of the year, according to data included in Investment Opportunity Assessment: U.S. Hemp. Hemp CBD is one of the fastest–growing markets in a generation with sales projected to reach into the billions. The Hemp Business Journal has predicted that the market for CBD will grow from $390 million in 2018 to approximately $1.3 billion by 2022.
Despite this massive boom in the industry and lawmakers decision to make CBD federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, banks and corporations are still hesitant to open their arms to CBD businesses which has taken a huge toll on small farmers and business owners who wish to embrace this growing industry.
The ABA said there has been little to no clear direction on distinguishing legal hemp and federally illegal marijuana, leaving banks uncertain about the legality of working with hemp and CBD businesses.
“Banks want to serve their communities and support their local economies but need clear, unequivocal assurance from their regulators that hemp is distinguishable from cannabis, and that serving the industry will not expose them to criminal and civil liability, or regulatory censure,” the association noted in a letter to US financial regulatory agencies.
So it seems clear that despite lawmakers passing the 2018 Farm Bill deeming Hemp and CBD federally legal, and have since made moves to clarify this, the businesses are not getting the support they need from the banks and Merchant Service providers.
But, as always, there is hope and a few providers have stuck around to service these companies. to learn more, read “Four ways CBD business can get merchant processing”.
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