Four federal agencies, in conjunction with state bank regulators, clarified the legal status of hemp-related businesses and the applicable edicts under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for financial institutions (FI) offering services to those businesses, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in a joint agency press release on Tuesday (Dec. 3).
Banks no longer have to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR) just because a business is growing or cultivating hemp.
Financial institutions should follow standard SAR procedures and submit a report only if there is questionable behavior.
The statement provides FIs with federal data that defines the legal status of hemp, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) interim final rule on hemp production.
It also clarifies the BSA guidelines when offering financial services to hemp-related businesses.