420 with CNW — Federal Financial Regulator Criticizes Congress for Failing to Reform Marijuana Laws

September 17, 2021 16:25:26

Rodney Hood, the former chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) has criticized Congress for failing to reform cannabis laws. The NCUA is an independent federal agency that offers deposit insurance to credit unions. Hood served as a regulator from 2005–09, before becoming chairman in 2019 and transitioning to a board position.

The regulator announced last week at the PBC conference that he would be taking steps to push legislators to enact changes in policy that help stakeholders and financial institutions. He stated that he was concerned that the regulatory and legal infrastructure surrounding the marijuana industry wasn’t evolving fast enough, noting that the lack of action from Congress was to blame for the most part. Hood added that he felt the federal legalization of marijuana was inevitable.

Hood is demanding that an interagency working group of financial regulatory agencies be established in order to develop a principles-based approach to marijuana banking in a bid to fill the policy gap. In an interview, Hood stated that the time for federal action to harmonize and clarify the regulations and laws surrounding the state-legal marijuana industry and cannabis-related businesses was now, adding that this would allow the industry to participate in the legal financial services industry.

Hood’s long-term service under different administrations makes his comments on cannabis policy noteworthy. While he did not endorse any specific laws, he did mention the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Banking Act, noting that it would improve the situation for financial institutions. In addition, he stated that Congress needed to synchronize state and federal marijuana laws as it would allow financial institutions to service cannabis businesses without fear of incurring penalties.

Hood explained that the increasing number of states changing their laws was a remarkable cultural and social change that had taken place that would continue, even in the future. He added that despite these changes, federal laws surrounding cannabis- and marijuana-derived products hadn’t changed much, noting that there were a few changes that had been made at the federal level, such as delisting hemp from the Controlled Substances Act under the 2018 Farm Bill, which was a step in the right direction.

The official also stated that he would be encouraging credit union trade associations to pressure legislators to deal with the issue, adding that he would, in his own capacity, lobby Congress as a board member of NCUA to enact reform.

If those advocacy efforts bear fruit and if legal reforms are instituted at the federal level, the entire marijuana industry, including companies such as Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC), is likely to grow at a faster pace.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/HENC

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