Cannabis Banking: It’s That Important

We write often about the banking challenges faced by marijuana business owners because it is a critical issue on which all of our cannabis clients agree. Denying cannabis businesses access to a legitimate banking system is bad for just about everyone.

So we are always glad to be able to write about some lights in the banking tunnel, no matter how dim. We are aware of more banks and credit unions in Washington and Nevada taking on cannabis clients, though usually in highly proscribed numbers and with extra fees. And Colorado recently granted a state charter to Fourth Corner Credit Union in Denver. FCCU will offer banking services specifically tailored to the marijuana industry. Representatives from FCCU have stated that they intend to open their doors in the coming weeks.

Though Colorado’s banking regulators granted a charter to FCCU on November 19th , the credit union must still receive a master account number from the Federal Reserve to obtain access to the country’s electronic banking system. However, according to a recent USA Today article, “the credit union believes that it will get the account number without a fight because the Federal Reserve must give out numbers to organizations that have been granted state charters.”

As we have discussed before, though a few banks and credit unions are doing business in each of the states where marijuana business is legal (and though the number of such institutions is very slowly growing), we are not seeing nearly enough growth to meet existing market demand. We would love to see Fourth Corner Credit Union obtain a master account number from the Federal Reserve as that can only help pave the way for other state chartered credit unions to begin providing banking services to licensed marijuana businesses.

For more on banking issues pertaining to marijuana businesses, see the following: