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Interagency Statement on Providing Banking Services to Customers in Hemp Production
On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, and FinCEN issued a joint statement today providing guidance about the Bank Secrecy Act implications of providing banking services to customers engaged in hemp production. The statement clarifies that because hemp is no longer a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, banks are not required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) on customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp (as defined by the 2018 Farm Bill). However, for hemp-related customers, banks are still expected to follow standard SAR procedures, and file a SAR if indicia of suspicious activity warrants.
The statement also reminds FDIC supervised banks and savings associations that marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law, and producers of hemp must possess a valid USDA issued license or a USDA-approved state or tribal plan. Additionally, a state or tribal government may prohibit the production of hemp, even though it is legal under federal law.