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Cannabis legalization, for both recreational and medical use, is spreading throughout the United States. Each election brings new states into the state-legal system and an overwhelming share of U.S. adults (88%) say that cannabis should be legal for medical and/or recreational use by adults according to a Pew Research Center survey.
More than 155 million Americans now live in jurisdictions with some form of legalized adult-use cannabis. Only Nebraska, Kansas, and Idaho have no public access cannabis programs.
As more states legalize cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, it is critically important that cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) have access to traditional banking services. At the federal level, cannabis remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
As CRBs continue to mature, the conflict between state and federal law creates increasingly significant legal and compliance concerns for state and federally chartered banks that wish to serve these businesses or continue to serve existing customers that may also do business with CRBs.
CRBs have limited access to the traditional banking system, forcing them to operate mostly in cash. Cash-only businesses, especially those with a high volume of revenue, pose a significant risk to public safety.
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