Brett Harrison, President of leading crypto exchange FTX, has hinted at a potential partnership with Cresco Labs.
The company, based in Illinois, is a market leader in marijuana-related businesses in the United States. Cresco Labs, founded in 2013, is a prominent cannabis manufacturer, accounting for 60% of the current cannabis and medical marijuana industry in the United States.
Despite the fact that cannabis is legal in many states throughout the United States, marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) remain underbanked because no major national banking institution is willing to accept them as clients.
According to Brett Harrison’s Twitter thread directed at Cresco Labs, the situation is likely to stay this way until cannabis is legalised under federal law or legislation permitting federal banks to accept MRBs is approved.
Traditional banking institutions, he claims, see cannabis-related enterprises as high-risk customers. This kind of company often does not have access to the full range of financial services or is compelled to pay extra to get them, pushing it to use and keep cash first. Harrison emphasised that this raises the risk of criminal behaviour and places significant burdens on law enforcement.
Given the tremendous expansion of the worldwide cannabis business, this should come as no surprise. According to cannabis industry intelligence and research firm BDS Analytics, cannabis sales in the United States alone are estimated to exceed $28 billion by 2022.