Regulators in the banking industry are close to providing guidance on how to service the hemp industry. According to a top Federal Reserve Official, the new regulations will be released in the next few weeks.
The Fed’s deputy general counsel for litigation, enforcement, and systemic matters, Richard Ashton, told a conference on November 21 that there might be some guidance issued relatively soon to help financial institutions.
“The hottest of the hot topics at the Fed right now and the other regulators is hemp,” Ashton told the press.
Despite the crop being completely legal, regulations for the industry are still being implemented and have yet to catch up. Banks are still wary about getting involved in an industry that, until recently, was illegal. They are also hesitant to support a crop that looks and smells exactly like marijuana.
Banks are waiting for federal support and guidance before deciding to risk their business in this industry. They are certain in their desire to stay on the clear side of the law and are staying out of the picture when it looks to be in any sort of a gray area.
Jelena McWilliams, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman, told reporters at the conference that the agency already had guidance ready, but are now will first review and update it to align with the newly released USDA rules.