The cannabis industry in Missouri has faced many financial hurdles due to its federal illegality. In order to better serve the needs of Missouri’s marijuana businesses, two bills have recently been proposed – one that would provide more information to banks and financial institutions about cannabis businesses and another that requires fingerprint background checks for all cannabis employees and contractors.
This article will focus on the details of these two bills and how they might impact access to banking and hiring within the industry. It is important to note that while both bills are meant to benefit the industry, their combined effect may actually create further challenges for cannabis businesses in Missouri.
By understanding what these bills entail, stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding their involvement with this rapidly growing commerce sector.
Missouri Senate Bill 63
Missouri Senate Bill 63 (SB 63) is a piece of legislation seeking to provide more banking access for cannabis businesses operating in the state. The bill would allow any entity licensed or certified by Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution to request, in writing, that their application, license, and other regulatory and financial information be shared with a banking institution.
Banks and financial institutions can then use this information when considering whether or not they should offer services to marijuana-related businesses. Furthermore, this information can also be shared with relevant state and federal agencies as necessary.
In providing more transparency into the operations of cannabis businesses, SB 63 could help make them eligible for more traditional banking services – something that has been greatly hindered due to its status as federally prohibited.
Missouri Senate Bill 40
While SB 63 seeks to provide more access to banking for cannabis businesses, Missouri Senate Bill 40 (SB 40) is meant to ensure the safety of consumers and employees within the industry. This bill would require a person applying for a license or seeking employment, or even volunteering with a cannabis business in the state of Missouri to submit an application for a fingerprint background check.
While its intentions are admirable, there is potential for SB 40 to create further financial barriers for those looking to get into the industry as well as slow down hiring processes across the board due to its time-consuming nature. As such, stakeholders must consider the implications of this bill carefully before committing to it.
While SB 63 and SB 40 are both intended to benefit the cannabis industry in Missouri, their combined effect may actually create additional barriers and challenges for businesses seeking to operate within the state.
The added bureaucracy associated with SB 40 could slow down hiring processes, meaning more time spent waiting for new employees to be approved rather than focusing on actual business operations. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that financial institutions will be willing to take on cannabis-related clients even after being provided with more information about the business – something that could prove costly if banks decide not to move forward with applications.
With all that in mind, it is important for those considering entering the cannabis industry in Missouri to understand the implications of both SB 63 and SB 40 before deciding to commit their resources.
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