4 octubre, 2023

SAFE Banking Act Could Transform the Cannabis Industry as Demand Continues to Climb


The remaining months of the lame-duck Congress could be shaping up to be the most wonderful time of the year for the U.S. marijuana industry, although insiders warn legislative movement isn’t a sure bet, says a recent article in industry website, MJ Biz Daily. It said that: “In addition to President Joe Biden’s surprise announcement about a marijuana scheduling review and MJ possession pardons as well as the likelihood of more states voting Nov. 8 to legalize adult-use cannabis, this year’s lame-duck session – the stretch of post-election time before newly elected members of Congress take their seats in the new year – could bring even more positive news for the legal industry.  While Democrats caution there’s a long list of legislation to bring to the floor while they still control both chambers of Congress, marijuana reform is on the agenda.  Democrat lawmakers and stock analysts are optimistic that long-standing issues such as cannabis banking reform and restorative justice will finally be addressed.  Given the momentum, the comments made, the expectations created, and the heavy lobbying from various advocacy groups, we think Senate Democrats want to get this done,” Pablo Zuanic, managing partner at New York-based investment banking firm Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in an Oct. 3 note after Biden’s announcement.”  Active Companies in the markets today include:  SHF Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHFS), Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) (TSX: TLRY), SNDL Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL), WM Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAPS), Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED).

The article added: “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a sweeping federal legalization bill introduced in July that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, instruct the U.S Food and Drug Administration to regulate MJ and allow states to retain or create their own laws around the plant.  Recent survey results collected by Morning Consult in partnership with the American Bankers Association (ABA) showed that 66% of respondents “support Congress passing legislation that allows cannabis businesses to access banking services such as checking accounts and business loans in states where cannabis is legal.  If passed, SAFE Banking Plus, or some version of SAFE Banking, could transform the industry once it’s implemented. Notably, retailers and other businesses would be relieved of cash-only operations, which have created safety and accounting challenges. Traditional bank loans and other financial services such as accounting could eventually be accessed… while it’s a long shot, if language from the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (CLIMB) Act is included in SAFE Plus, it also means publicly owned cannabis companies could uplist to major stock exchanges.”

SHF Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHFSBREAKING NEWS:  Safe Harbor Financial Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Abaca – Acquisition adds over 300 accounts and expanded financial institution relationships –  SHF Holdings, Inc., d/b/a/ Safe Harbor Financial (“Safe Harbor” or the “Company”), a leader in facilitating financial services to the regulated cannabis industry, has entered into an agreement to acquire Rockview Digital Solutions, Inc d/b/a Abaca (“Abaca”), an industry-leading cannabis financial technology platform that has processed more than $3 billion in gross transactions, for $30 million. Built on modern cloud-hosted technology by banking and compliance experts, Abaca’s digital-first commercial banking solutions make cannabis banking easy by revolutionizing access to cutting-edge banking and financial solutions.

Founded in 2017, Abaca works with its FDIC-insured bank partners to enable traditional banking services for operators ranging from single dispensaries to multi-state and national operators. Abaca’s people, processes, and technology provide a complete cannabis solution to sponsor financial institutions, managing their regulatory risk at scale. This enables Abaca to provide cannabis businesses a full suite of specialized financial and treasury services available to the industry via its secure, digital platform.

Combining Safe Harbor’s wide range of financial services and Abaca’s industry-leading fintech and payment solutions will create comprehensive and streamlined banking solutions for cannabis operators. The enhanced Safe Harbor fintech platform will now offer operators desktop and mobile banking, treasury management, payment processing, cash handling, logistics, and a new payroll service launching later this quarter. In addition, the acquisition will increase management talent of seasoned cannabis fintech executives.

“We are thrilled to announce this agreement to acquire Abaca. We have worked with Dan and his impressive team, seeing them successfully scale to become an innovative cannabis fintech leader. With their ecosystem of cannabis banking and finance platform, proprietary technology, strong financial institution and banking relationships, and experienced founder-led management team, we believe Abaca is the ideal platform to help us take a large step forward in scaling our capabilities and service offerings in building the complete cannabis fintech ecosystem,” said Sundie Seefried, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Harbor.

“Following its recent NASDAQ listing and key additions to the executive team, Safe Harbor is positioned to be the leader in compliant financing and banking offerings to the regulated operating U.S. cannabis industry nationwide. Joining forces with Safe Harbor enables the Abaca team to better advance our mission of empowering the cannabis community with essential financial services and innovative, affordable solutions,” said Dan Roda, Co-Founder and CEO of Abaca.   CONTINUED…  Read this full release for SHFS at:  https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-shfs/

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