Fines and penalties for noncompliance can be incredibly stiff for companies operating within the cannabis industry. Non-compliance knowingly or , unknowingly, can carry serious consequences for your business and yourself. In fact, even providing services (financial or otherwise) to businesses within the marijuana industry can present legal challenges and high risks.
Knowing all cannabis business laws is a great place to start for anyone involved in (or aspiring to enter) the industry. Here is what you should know:
Cannabis Business Laws
Naturally, as cannabis continues to be considered a Schedule I substance at the federal level, it is up to business owners within the industry to keep up with state-specific regulations wherever they intend to operate. For instance, in New Jersey, recreational cannabis use is governed by laws put forth in the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act, whereas the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana (MRTM) Act serves a similar purpose in the state of Michigan.
For cannabis businesses, compliance with AML mandates centers largely on adhering to the following guidelines:
- All transactions higher than $10,000 must be recorded and reported.
- Anyone performing transactions in excess of $10,000 must be identified.
Banking institutions looking to stay on the right side of the law, while expanding into the cannabis industry must prioritize proper onboarding and auditing practices to ensure they are not facilitating money laundering or trafficking of any kind.
Marijuana BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) guidance dictates that banks must conduct due diligence on any customers related to the industry in any way and ensure that they are licensed, among other things. Marijuana-related companies, in turn, should aim to make it as easy as possible for banks to minimize the risks inherent to working with businesses in this sector if they wish to have access to banking services.
Why AML Should be a Priority for Cannabis Businesses
AML regulations are extremely important for businesses in the cannabis space as they are the main obstacles barring their access to traditional banking services. Banking institutions considering extending traditional banking services to cannabis companies of all kinds are primarily concerned with each prospect’s overall risk profile.
That’s why a comprehensive risk assessment is likely on the table along with a lengthy onboarding process for any cannabis-related companies requesting banking products or services. Obtaining proper licensing, keeping clear records of product sources and quantities as well as validating customer identities before each transaction is finalized can dramatically improve your business’s standing with both banks and authorities.
By adopting a proactive stance from the offset and handling transactional information with care, organizations in this space can encourage cautious banking institutions to work with them more frequently.
Mitigating the Risk
Mitigating compliance threats may seem like a tall order for businesses in the cannabis industry, but it is of the utmost importance that they find ways to do so effectively. Noncompliance simply comes at too high a cost to ignore. Intellicheck can help.
Intellicheck’s ID validation solution provides industry-leading accuracy of 99.9% at sub-second speeds to facilitate a secure, yet smooth customer experience. You can get up and running in no time with the web portal validation tool or integrate Intellicheck functionality seamlessly into your existing infrastructure via our full-featured API.
False identity documents make it impossible to maintain a traceable reference of transactions, not to mention that they open the door for minors and other illegitimate customers to place illegal purchases.
Intellicheck is the ultimate ID validation solution for marijuana-related businesses to get on top of their AML compliance strategy.