Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed a bill aimed at increasing access to banking services for cannabis companies and implementing fingerprinting and background checks for industry employees and contractors. The law allows for sharing information between the Department of Health and Senior Services and banks, while mandating comprehensive background checks for all individuals working in the state’s cannabis sector.
The newly enacted legislation addresses the challenges faced by financial institutions due to the conflicting state and federal cannabis laws. The Missouri Bankers Association supports the federal SAFE Banking Act, which aims to normalize banking services for the cannabis industry nationwide. However, despite passing the House multiple times, the bill has yet to clear the Senate.
The Missouri Bankers Association recognizes the importance of a secure and safe banking environment for businesses operating in the cannabis sector. The absence of reliable banking options puts such businesses at risk, as operating primarily in cash can pose significant challenges.
Before this legislation, banks had to conduct their own inspections of cannabis businesses before considering them as clients. The new law now enables the Department of Health and Senior Services, responsible for overseeing Missouri’s medical and adult-use cannabis programs, to share inspections and other relevant information with banks.
The state’s proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to creating a safer, more transparent, and efficient cannabis industry. As the disparity between state and federal laws persists, states like Missouri face growing pressure to establish a secure banking environment that supports the industry’s needs.
While Missouri’s new law represents a positive step forward, the ultimate resolution lies in federal action, such as the passage of the SAFE Banking Act. Until then, the cannabis industry and financial institutions will continue to navigate the complex landscape, striving for increased access to banking services and improved safety measures in the evolving cannabis market.