While credit unions continue to manage compliance complexities associated with cannabis banking, there is a similar conversation beginning with hemp banking. Ohio recently legalized hemp cultivation and established a Hemp Program, allowing licensed individuals to grow and process hemp for fiber, grain production, and dietary needs in Ohio (ORC 928 and OAC 901). The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and is approved by the USDA. In May 2020, ODA approved 200 cultivators for a hemp cultivation license for the current growing season. As your credit union explores serving or interacts with hemp member businesses, here are a few helpful compliance resources to consider:
- NCUA guidance and FAQ for those credit unions that are federally chartered or insured;
- Ida Neely, Ohio Division of Financial Institutions Chief Examiner for Credit Unions, is ready to connect directly with state-chartered credit unions on specific questions or plans to serve hemp cultivators; and
- FinCEN Hemp Banking Guidance to explore questions related to BSA/AML regulatory requirements for hemp businesses.
The League will continue to monitor the hemp banking landscape and provide additional education opportunities to shine more light on the hemp cultivation industry’s interaction with Ohio credit unions. In the meantime, please reach out to League SVP of Advocacy Emily Leite with questions or concerns.