Given the emerging trend of the ever-increasing legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. According to Grand View Research’s recent report, the global legal marijuana market-size is expected to reach $66.3 billion by 2025. However, despite the fact that the growing market presents numerous business opportunities, it comes with a set of issues that are yet to be solved. Producing, processing, and selling marijuana still violates federal law in the U.S., to begin with. Also, handling the proceeds of any marijuana transaction is highly risky. For financial institutions, this problem is critical as the U.S. federal government exercises oversight on marijuana via the Drug Enforcement Agency, which still categorizes it as a Schedule 1 drug. As marijuana is regulated under a complex mix of legal statuses, financial institutions are reluctant to dwell into marijuana-related business ventures.
To effectively navigate the legal and operational boundaries within law and business, financial institutions need reliable, up-to-date corporate information to effectively identify potential cases of fraud and money laundering and manage marijuana-related relationships. This is precisely where CRB Monitor comes into the picture. With its marijuana-related corporate intelligence platform, the company not only bridges the gap between the financial services sector and the marijuana industry, but helps clients understand, identify, and manage risks and opportunities.“CRB Monitor’sdata-as-a-service platform provides comprehensive information relating to U.S. and Canadian “direct” marijuana-related businesses, including information on licensing, beneficial owners (including directors, officers, and executives) and associated businesses (e.g., holding, investment, shell, and management companies),” explains Steven Kemmerling, the Founder and CEO of CRB Monitor.
The platform provides Compliance, AML, and BSA teams with independent, reliable, and up-to-date corporate information on MRBs by aggregating publicly available, but often unstructured off-line and hard-to-find, data from hundreds of disparate government and agency sources. After organizing, standardizing and de-duplicating the data from these myriad sources, the company offers a centralized, cloud-based database to help not just banks but also broker-dealers, insurance agencies, and casinos to manage compliance of serving MRBs.
We developed the largest databased of MRBs to help clients identify and manage risks and opportunities, but also specifically designed our data-as-a-service to leverage clients’ current screening procedures, so no new software, hardware, or headcount is required
The company has developed a complex relational database of over 30,000 “direct” marijuana-related businesses (MRBs), 90,000 licenses, and 40,000+ beneficial owners, not simply a flat-file “list.”
“We specifically designed our data-as-a-service as “plug-and-play” to leverage clients’ current screening procedures, so no new software, hardware, or headcount is required,” explains Kemmerling. Whether it’s to export highly-structured datasets for use with screening/monitoring software or ad hoc search, research, and print detailed profiles of MRBs and individuals, CRB Monitor does it all.
Under the leadership of Kemmerling, the company has become an established category leader providing solutions to all types and sizes of financial institutions across the U.S. and Canada. Being a thought leader and subject matter expert whose primary focus has been on addressing the significant challenges around “cannabis and banking,” Kemmerling has been a driving force of the company. He has not just created but continues to refine several terms, taxonomy, and frameworks relied upon by financial institutions and regulators to help them formulate relevant and effective policies, procedures, and standards.
Having evolved since its inception in 2014, CRB Monitor has uniquely positioned itself as the only sector-specific cannabis corporate intelligence platform, which is designed a “single source of truth” on relevant CRBs and beneficial owners. Whereas CRB Monitor’s current (December 2019) coverage is exclusively focused on marijuana-related businesses operating in the USA and Canada, the company plans to pursue growth into additional countries and also “direct” hemp and CBD related businesses. The company also expects to expand into “indirect” cannabis-related businesses, which sell products and services to direct CRBs.