The hemp industry has exploded since regulations were lifted on the crop last year. Its products generated nearly a $1 billion in 2018 alone, but that wasn't without some challenges.
In the past, banks were forced to treat hemp customers as suspicious, and file paperwork to authorities for each interaction.
"When you look at other financial services like payment processing and accepting credit cards, that's really been off limits for hemp companies and the only way to get access to payment processing is to pay crazy high fees," said Castetter Sustainability Group CEO Kaelan Castetter.
That is up until last week. The federal government ruled to lift regulations on hemp, prohibiting businesses from being treated any more suspiciously than other companies.
"This adds federal legitimacy to the issue. We have state legitimacy and New York State has done a good job to push banks to work with hemp companies, but now this comes from the federal level," said Castetter.
Companies such as Castetter Sustainability Group have felt the effects of strict banking laws. Some banks have been hesitant at the payment processing level even after this bill.
Their CEO believes this could change as the industry grows.
"I think as more money goes through and there's more opportunity for these financial institutions to make money off of hemp companies, and their competitors begin to work with hemp companies, they're going to be driven to do so also," said Castetter.
With regulations starting to change, those in the hemp industry hope it encourages more farmers to get involved.
"It's really important that businesses, small farmers, small businesses can get into the industry in a way that makes sense for them, and having access to financial institutions, payment processing, loans, bank accounts, is all very critical," said Castetter.
There are currently just five banks that accept hemp companies.