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The Policy Center for Public Health & Safety announced that Massachusetts-based Lighthouse Biz Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of GFA Federal Credit Union, is the first east coast financial institution to become certified for outstanding U.S. monetary banking protocols in banking cannabis and hemp operations.
The honor is part of a financial services certification program overseen by the Policy Center for Public Health & Safety in collaboration with state attorneys general and endorsed by Safe Harbor Financial SHFS.
“The marijuana industry continues to expand in Massachusetts, and it is important to have banking safeguards to mitigate illicit and criminal conduct. This is an important first step in partnering with legally compliant businesses in the marketplace,” stated Karl Racine, former Attorney General of the District of Columbia, and current board member of Safe Harbor Financial.
The PH&S certification brings banking and financial services transparency to ensure the safety of the monetary system for institutions banking hemp and cannabis.
“The cannabis industry has been unbanked and underserved for years, often resulting in adverse impacts on public safety in communities where cannabis is legal. We are honored to receive such a distinction and appreciate the support and guidance we have received from Safe Harbor Financial over the years,” stated Lighthouse founder and former president of GFA Tina Sbrega.
Karen White, executive director of The Attorneys General Alliance, stated: “Fundamental to marketplace validation and combating money laundering is knowing which financial institutions are following procedures and protocols that are compliant with state and federal laws. Financial institutions and their insurers are looking for guidance to ‘bank’ the cannabis industry.”
The overall certification model is accepted by state and federal agencies as the standard of compliance and in implementing general risk mitigating strategies and focuses upon the following:
Ensuring compliance standards that will meet the expectations of BSA and the FinCEN guidelines;
Mainstreaming depository options for cannabis related entities;
Monitoring internal activities of all personnel involved in the compliance program to ensure compliance with processes that will protect GFA and Lighthouse.
Photo: Benzinga edit with photos by Matthias Zomer on Pexels and squarefrog on Pixabay
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