A recent guilty conviction, after a jury trial, shows how complex and fraught the zigzag path to marijuana legalization is in the payments space. At a time when the federal government has signaled that criminal prosecutions in states that have legalized marijuana are a low to non-existent priority, this prosecution
Continue Reading Bank Fraud for Facilitating Marijuana Transactions

Today, we released our deck “The Road Ahead for Financial Regulatory Reform in a Time of Democrats in Control.” This deck describes our view of the road ahead for financial regulatory reform under a Biden Presidency, and updates the deck we published shortly after the 2020 election to reflect the
Continue Reading The Road Ahead for Financial Regulatory Reform in a Time of Democrats in Control

The House has voted to legalize marijuana on a federal level by passing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (the MORE Act). The MORE Act is notable not only because it fully legalizes marijuana under federal law but because it was originally introduced by Senator (now Vice President-Elect) Harris


Continue Reading Post-Election Update: U.S. Federal Cannabis Legislation

On November 9, 2020, we released our deck “Financial Services Regulatory Reform in the Biden Administration: Key Areas of Focus.” This deck describes our view of the road ahead for financial regulatory reform under a Biden Presidency and a Republican Senate.  We see most of the action coming from the
Continue Reading Financial Services Regulatory Reform in the Biden Administration: Key Areas of Focus

For hemp-related customers, banks no longer need to file suspicious activity reports according to a guidance statement issued by the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC and FinCEN, in consultation with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The descheduling of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act eliminates the need for banks to
Continue Reading Banking Hemp: The Banking Regulators Move Forward

Congress now has three different cannabis bills and three different approaches before it. One approach, taken by the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (the SAFE Banking Act), is to focus specifically on the difficulties faced by the banking, insurance and payments sectors. Another approach, taken by the Strengthening the
Continue Reading Cannabis Legalization? — Updated Briefing on the SAFE Banking Act, the STATES Act and the MORE Act

For those following Congressional efforts to solve the challenges of banking the cannabis sector, we have updated our briefing on the two pending bills in light of the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday July 23 on “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking:  Outside Perspectives.”  We cover both of the two
Continue Reading Davis Polk Client Memorandum: Banking and Cannabis — Updated Briefing on the SAFE Banking Act and STATES Act

A bipartisan group of 38 state and territorial attorneys general has signed an open letter to Congress calling for legislative change for banking and financial institutions wishing to provide services to cannabis businesses. The letter describes the severe financial restrictions faced by cannabis businesses that operate legally under state law
Continue Reading Bipartisan Support for Cannabis Banking Safe Harbor Reaches New High with Letter from Attorneys General

In separate statements on April 17, 2019 coinciding with the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton announced several measures intended to increase pressure on Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, in response to corruption, human rights abuses, and political
Continue Reading U.S. Government Targets “Three Stooges of Socialism” with New Measures Against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua

There is now a serious effort underway by the usually divided Congress to find a way for the growing cannabis sector to enter the mainstream financial sector.  Our newest visual memorandum updates our earlier briefing on the two legislative vehicles:  the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (the SAFE Banking
Continue Reading Banking and Cannabis — Updated Briefing on the SAFE Banking Act and STATES Act