Financial Services - Press Releases

Colorado commends interim cannabis banking guidance issued from National Credit Union Administration

DENVER - Aug. 22, 2019 - The Division of Financial Services at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) commends the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for issuing Regulatory Alert 19-RA-02 to federally insured credit unions regarding changes in federal law and regulation related to industrial hemp. 
The interim guidance issued on August 19, 2019 provides clarity for federally insured credit unions including a summary of the legal status of hemp and considerations for credit unions serving hemp-related businesses.  
“Colorado has been on the forefront of innovation regarding industrial hemp, and we are committed to supporting this industry,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I commend Chairman Hood and the National Credit Union Administration for providing guidance to our credit unions so they may provide access to essential financial services to our farmers and other business entrepreneurs involved in this exciting emerging industry.”
"We applaud the NCUA for issuing much-needed clarity and guidance to federally-insured credit unions seeking to serve legally-operating hemp businesses in the United States,” said DORA Executive Director Patty Salazar. “As Executive Director of Colorado's regulatory agency, one of my top priorities is to identify opportunities for basic business services, such as access to financial services and insurance, to be afforded to legal cannabis-related businesses as they would be accessible to any other industry. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Hood and the NCUA's commitment to financial inclusion and to cultivating economic opportunity, which will be of great benefit for one of Colorado's newest and most exciting industries."
“Colorado is on track to be a leader in creating new economic opportunities involving hemp as an agricultural commodity, and to do this effectively requires an engaged financial system that serves the hemp industry,” said Colorado Financial Services Commissioner Mark Valente, head of the Division of Financial Services at DORA which licenses and regulates Colorado’s state-chartered credit unions. “When organizations like NCUA provide clear guidance to their credit union members, it opens up new pathways for businesses to be able to access much needed financial services in their communities.”
Colorado has 37 state chartered credit unions with assets totaling over $22 billion and 44 federally chartered credit unions with assets totaling nearly $4 billion.  
“In April 2019 the Division of Financial Services issued guidance to our state chartered credit unions regarding the 2018 Farm Bill and we continue to fully support their decision to serve the hemp industry,” noted Valente. “As the industrial industry evolves, so will guidance for our financial industries, and it will be important that Colorado’s credit union follow our state’s laws, regulations and agreements for hemp related businesses. The Division, as well as NCUA, has made clear they must continue to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering requirements, just like any other business account.” 
The Division of Financial Services is involved with the state’s Colorado Hemp Advancement Management Plan (CHAMP) initiative to develop a process and regulatory structure for this growing industry. 
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About the Division of Financial Services
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies division, the Division of Financial Services protects consumers through regulation and supervision of state-chartered Credit Unions and Savings and Loan associations, the administration and enforcement of the Savings and Loan Public Deposit Protection Act, and certain financial activities of life care institutions. More information at dora.colorado.gov/dfs, call 303-894-2336 or email DORA_FinancialServices@state.co.us.
About DORA
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675 outside Denver metro area.
For all DORA announcements, visit What's New