One of the coolest things we’ve done here at Harris Bricken was work with the National Credit Union Association on its June 2020 guidance for servicing hemp-related businesses. Back when we first started working with small, Northwest credit unions in 2014 and 2015 (on the THC banking side) we never imagined being hired one day by the federal government itself on cannabis-related matters. Then, the 2018 Farm Bill came and we saw a sudden increase in credit unions looking at the hemp banking space. Service was slow to start, but everyone had questions!
This post covers a few important considerations we typically discuss with credit unions looking to service the hemp industry. This is not an exhaustive list of questions and recommendations, like the one we work though with clients; instead, it identifies five, high-level considerations for any credit union currently looking at the space.
What kinds of businesses are you willing to bank?
The hemp industry exists on a spectrum, from businesses that sell seeds to farmers all the way through retail sellers of hemp and hemp-CBD products. The supply chain is being built as we speak, and new products (and even new markets) continue to surface. Generally speaking,