Local

If approved by the US Senate, the bill would make it easier to borrow money and take credit card payments.

When Phil Smith and Jenny Roseman started their new cannabis presentation business, they had a hard time raising enough money to start a business together.

Because their business was not recognized at the federal level, only a few banks did business with them – each new cannabis business had to be established.

“We had to start this. Jenny and I went to the kitchen table to raise money. Like a normal company, it would be good to go for a business loan.

The safe and fair banking law passed by Congress in April 2021 and the Senate vote will address this issue.

The way things are now, interstate banks – national banks – are banned from working with cannabis companies because the drug is illegal in the federal government.

Banks that work with these stores may face severe fines and penalties, so many banks avoid lending or financing these newly established companies.

“Sometimes I feel like I did in the last century,” says Nicole Campbell, owner of Green Lady Distribution on Ankate Island, where there are very few banks.

Due to the limited number of banks that can finance these shops, the door to artistic and safer behavior is wide open – a back-end solution for fundraisers to start their businesses. New store owners will have a much easier time opening their shops compared to when they started their business.

“It is very difficult for emerging businesses to secure capital investment during the licensing process,” said Grant Smith, a longtime cannabis advocate in Massachusetts. [That] It opens the door to the hunting behavior of private pig capitalists. ”

SAFE’s banking law eliminates those penalties, and federal banks, credit card companies, and other financial corporations can participate in the cannabis industry by eliminating the need for financiers who want to use these struggling businesses.

Campbell works for The Green Lady Dispensary with Bay Coast Bank. She and her husband have fully funded their business, there are no foreign investors, and Campbell says she is happy to have a bank on Nantuket Island, which is convenient to work with.

“It was really hard,” she said.

As more and more banks began to operate in the industry, experts such as Campbell, independent, family-owned businesses joined the competition, leading to lower prices and a more complex payment process, experts said.

Credit companies such as Visa and MasterCard will also be penalized if customers use their services in a cannabis store. Therefore, distributors may only accept cash or debit payments. Customers must pay to use an ATM when making a purchase.

Sometimes Campbell says that when people pay in cash, they can’t even make a difference. When tourists from outside the state enter the Campbell store, they often say they do not know about these rules, so they cannot pay for their products.

SAFE’s banking law allows these major credit card companies to provide services to cannabis customers, making it more convenient to pay for cannabis purchases. Customers can even pay through payment apps like Venmo and CashApp. In the meantime, shopkeepers should not hold that much money.

However, this account gives only a small victory to current shop owners in the Massachusetts cannabis industry. According to Steve Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, there are many local banks that serve cannabis shops in the area, so if the bill is implemented, there will be no dramatic change here.

Massachusetts and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission also strongly oppose racial inequality in the local cannabis industry, emphasizing social justice. Social Justice Programs In 2016, the cannabis laws were written.

Many cannabis officials and activists have criticized the SAFE banking law for failing to address these racial inequalities. As social justice is a priority in the Massachusetts industry, the real world effects of accounting are below this vision.

“It doesn’t happen unless you deliberately talk about equality,” said MassCann Smith. Properly covered, it will withstand a great deal of adverse conditions, especially in the center of the market.

Some local cannabis store owners, such as Kobis Evans, co-owner of Pure Osis, say the effects of the bill have not been to some extent disclosed.

While the bill makes it easier for shopkeepers to work, they instead want to promote the federal legality of the drug, promote social justice, and reverse the effects of the drug war. The bill didn’t add up to that effort, so they shook their heads and continued to “fight the good fight,” said Ivan.

Evans also believes that safer banking rules are more important for the wealthy corporations in the industry than for small, family-owned shops.

Fighters for federal legitimacy have fewer assets than the wealthy corporations that are pushing for SAFE’s banking law, which is why this law hits Congress before the legality law.

“If you are a US banker, you have more money to pay for a lobbyist,” says Evans.

In any case, if the bill is passed, small shops will get some benefits, especially if you are trying to enter the industry.

“The bill does not do what we want it to do, so it is not a reason to object,” says Hoffman.