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Federal Reserve Nominee Promises to Tell Banks that Hemp is Legal

Federal Reserve Governor nominee Michelle Bowman today pledged to clarify to U.S. banks that hemp is now a legal product, amid confusion about whether banks can do business with the industry.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production and the sale of hemp products . But farmers and business owners from hemp-growing states are warning that financial services firms remain skittish about transactions tied to the crop.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) urged Bowman to take action on the issue at a Senate Banking Committee hearing today. Bowman told Tester that “we’ll try to clarify that hemp is not an illegal crop.”

“We would not discourage banks from banking these types of customers,” she said.

Separately, Tester last month wrote to the head of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and pressed him to update the agency’s hemp policies.

“Let’s be proactive about it,” Tester said today. “We decriminalized it in the farm bill. This ain’t pot.” To view Bowmans comments, click here and go to 1:07 in the video.

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