Former Rep. Dan Donovan, who held his position as a New York House representative between 2015-2019, and former Indiana Pacers NBA athlete David Harrison, recently announced their partnership to create a new banking solution called Token HiFi. Donovan is taking on the mantle of Chairman, while Harrison is the company co- CEO and founder, in addition to Chief Strategy Officer and founder Chris Yim.
The company’s goal is to offer a safe and reliable solution for cannabis banking. “Token HiFi is a new cannabis business membership that offers a digital asset and exchange platform to facilitate secure, valid, and trusted financial deposits and transactions for industries locked out of traditional banking services,” the company explains on its website. “Token HiFi’s patented B2B closed-loop digital asset transfer technology, known as DAVOS (Digital Authorization & Verification Operating System) is a convenient, safe, secure, and reliable encrypted utility token that acts as a value store and medium of exchange.”
Potential business owners, once they receive a compliance ID from Token Hifi, can purchase coins for this system. The coins can be used to “pay, transfer, and exchange funds with suppliers and affiliated businesses,” using armored trucks and physical cash pick-up. Finally, customers will be able to receive the value of their coins “whenever they choose and at any time,” the website states.
Although Token Hifi was founded in February 2022, the company has not yet officially launched.
The former Pacer is no stranger to cannabis. In 2015, he spoke about his off-season cannabis consumption during his first three seasons with the Indiana Pacers (between 2004-2007), due to stress caused by working with then-coach Jim O’Brien. “It wasn’t in his game plan for me to succeed. Being around him was probably the worst time I’ve had in my life,” Harrison said. In the 2007-2008 season, he smoked cannabis daily, which eventually led to being suspended for five games after he was found in violation of the league’s anti-drug policy.
“It wasn’t healthy,” Harrison said. “I literally had to smoke pot every day so I would not hurt him. I would avoid him. I’d come in early and stay late. It wasn’t like he hit me; he verbally abused me. But what coach doesn’t?”
According to the Token Hifi website, Harrison went on to start five cannabis grow facilities.
Banking still continues to be an issue for legal cannabis businesses across the country. Although there was some hope that the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would be passed in the recently proposed defense spending bill, it was removed earlier this month. If passed, it would have prevented federal banking regulators from penalizing banks that sought to serve cannabis-related businesses.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his desire to continue pushing the bill this year. “It’s a priority for me,” Schumer said. “I’d like to get it done. We’ll try and discuss the best way to get it done.”
Schumer was also hopeful about getting the bill passed earlier this November. “I am working in a bipartisan way with Democrats and Republicans to take the SAFE Banking Act, which allows financial institutions to involve themselves in cannabis companies and lend money to them—but it also does some things for justice, such as expunging a record,” Schumer said. Politico reported that Schumer spent the past weekend pushing to include the cannabis banking bill before the congressional session ends.
The SAFE Banking Act has passed through the House numerous times in the past, with a historic approval back in September 2021 as it was included in the Military Spending Bill.