I once heard a prominent member of the cannabis industry state that unless you have insurance and a bank account, than you aren’t a real business. Getting insurance is not always easy in the cannabis industry, but there are numerous companies that will provide insurance to marijuana businesses. Banking on the other hand is something that has proven difficult for the cannabis industry. Despite federal guidelines that were meant to clarify banking and the cannabis industry, many businesses are still waiting for a bank that is willing to work with them. Native American reservations may even look to be an option for dispensaries needing to bank.
Even banks that want to work with the cannabis industry avoid cannabis businesses out of fear of the federal government. Case in point is Mbank. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
MBank, the Oregon-based financial institution that recently announced it would begin serving Colorado marijuana companies, changed its mind and announced on Monday that it doesn’t have the resources necessary to handle demand.
Jef Baker, the bank’s chief executive officer, said inquiries for service had been “overwhelming,” and consequently the bank decided to cancel its plans to operate in Colorado because it’s simply too far from its headquarters, according to the Denver Post.
“Colorado is the farthest from our market area and the most difficult to provide the quality customer service to,” Baker said.
While the bank maintains that this is purely a customer service related move, there have been many rumors that the federal government stepped in and made it clear that there were not going to allow a bank to work with so many different states. There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s odd to say the least that the bank went from all in on working with Colorado businesses to refusing to work with any of them. The cannabis industry needs comprehensive banking reform at the federal level if it’s ever going to reach it’s full potential.