West Virginia Treasurer Outlines Proposals to Offer Financial Services to MMJ Firms

West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue has sent a letter to Gov. Jim Justice outlining two plans to provide the state’s medical canna-businesses access to financial services. The first option is a “loop” system; the second a state-owned bank. The “loop system” proposal would provide two options or a combination of both. A “closed-loop” which would […]

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California Bill Would Create Limited-Service Canna-Banks

A bill proposed in California would create limited-service banks and credit unions to serve the state’s cannabis industry, according to a CNBC report. The measure, approved unanimously by the Senate Bank and Financial Institutions Committee, would allow canna-businesses to write special checks to pay some of their business expenses. What would the program look like? […]

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Washington Break-Ins Reinforce Cannabis Banking Concerns

With a surplus of cash and cannabis products always on hand, dispensary locations are prime targets for robbery. Washington state saw a number of cannabis shop break-ins in 2017 and the trend has continued in 2018, reinforcing concerns about having a cash-only industry and the lack of banking options for cannabis companies. On April 5, […]

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Illinois’ Bank of Springfield Closing All MMJ Industry Accounts

Illinois’ Bank of Springfield is closing the accounts of the state’s medical cannabis companies by May 21 leaving most of the state’s operators to handle their business transactions in cash, the Chicago Tribune reports. The action is directly tied to the January revocation of the Cole Memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Bank of Springfield […]

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Alaska Lab Forced to Close After Bank Calls in Loan on Building Citing Federal Law

Anchorage, Alaska’s Steep Hill has been forced to suspend operations after Wells Fargo bank called in the loan on the company’s building because they are a cannabis-related business. The closure leaves just two labs to test cannabis products for the entire state. “We are sorry to announce that Steep Hill Alaska will be suspending cannabis […]

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West Virginia Senate Committee Approves MMJ Bill; Could Allow Flower Access

A bill approved by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would require the state Office of Medical Cannabis to create a rule allowing flower products to be available under the state’s medical cannabis program, but the Legislature would still need to approve the rule, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. The law comes after the Medical Cannabis […]

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Massachusetts Regulators Suggest State-Run Bank for Cannabis Industry

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is suggesting the creation of a state-run bank to serve the state’s canna-businesses after Chairman Steve Hoffman pointed out that no local banks or credit unions have indicated they would provide services to the industry, the Boston Globe reports. “There’s a high degree of urgency, so it’s something we need […]

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Treasury Secretary Tells Committee He Supports Canna-Business Banking Access

In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he supports allowing canna-businesses access to banks, according to a Forbes report, adding that the department is “reviewing the existing guidance” and doesn’t want to rescind it without having a new policy in place. “I assure you that we don’t want bags […]

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19 Attorney Generals Send Letter to Congress Asking for Cannabis Banking Protection Legislation

Attorney generals from 17 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam have sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to “advance legislation that would allow states that have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana to bring that commerce into the banking system” following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to rescind the Cole Memo protections. […]

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Report: FinCEN Not Consulted on Sessions’ Cannabis Policy Change

According to a report from Reuters, regulators at the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) were not informed about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ cannabis policy change but FinCEN spokesperson Stephen Hudack said the agency’s 2014 guidance “remains in place.” According to September 2017 data from FinCEN more than 300 banks and nearly 100 credit unions […]

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FinCEN Counts 400 Financial Institutions Providing Services to Cannabis Industry

According to September 2017 data from the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), more than 300 banks and nearly 100 credit unions are providing services to cannabis-related businesses. The number of institutions doing business with the sector has been steadily increasing since the second quarter of 2014. According to the data — first reported by […]

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KIND Financial Launches First ‘Seed-to-Payment’ System in Canada

KIND Financial has rolled out the cannabis industry’s first-ever “seed-to-payment” system in Canada, which will allow users to track the complete lifecycle of a plant from seed to payment, including granting users access to bank accounts and credit card processing. The e-commerce platform also allows companies to explore international trade options without worrying about foreign […]

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Uruguay Moving Legal Cannabis Sales from Pharmacies to Cash-Only Shops

Officials in Uruguay are moving retail cannabis sales from pharmacies to shops that will sell the products for cash, the Panama Post reports. The move comes less than a month after banks said they had to close accounts of pharmacies participating in the state-run program due to international anti-money laundering laws. Three of the 16 […]

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Hawaii Tabs CanPay for MMJ Industry Transactions

All eight of Hawaii’s medical cannabis dispensaries will go cashless as of Oct 1., opting instead to use the CanPay system, according to a KOHN2 report. In addition to allowing the dispensaries to forgo cash transactions, the debit payment mobile application system will allow them to direct deposit employee payroll, collect and remit taxes, and […]

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House Committee Blocks All Cannabis-Related Budget Amendment Votes

The Republican-controlled House Rules Committee has blocked multiple cannabis-related amendments from receiving consideration by the full chamber, effectively preventing the House from offering the industry protection from the Justice Department. The quashed amendments include: protections for state-approved hemp programs and banks choosing to do business with the cannabis industry; the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the feds […]

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Dirty Green Dollars: Cannabis Taxes and the Banking Predicament

In the U.S., legal cannabis — medical and recreational — is a multi billion dollar industry which deals almost exclusively in cash. In 2016, the industry generated approximately 7.9 billion dollars in revenue and is on pace to exceed that amount in 2017 — and that is not including the thousands of black market operators […]

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One Bank Serving Six of Florida’s Seven MMJ Companies

Six of Florida’s seven licensed medical cannabis companies are doing business at First Green Bank, an Orlando-area financial institution founded in 2009, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The small firm has just six branches throughout Central Florida, managing about $622 million in assets. Lex Ford, a senior vice president at First Green, said the institution […]

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Banks in Uruguay Closing Accounts of Pharmacies Selling Cannabis

International anti-money laundering laws are forcing banks to abandon Uruguayan pharmacies legally selling cannabis, according to a Business Times report. Jorge Polgar, president of the state-run Banco Republica, said keeping the accounts open would prevent the institution “from carrying out any kind of operation with an international counterpart” and “cause [the bank] and its clients […]

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National Conference of State Legislatures Call for Cannabis’ Removal from CSA

The National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan non-government organization, has passed a resolution calling for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, “thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses.” “The National Conference of State Legislatures acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and […]

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Partner Colorado Credit Union Creates Service to Serve National Cannabis Companies

Partner Colorado Credit Union has created a Credit Union Service Organization to serve other credit unions interested in serving the cannabis space, according to a Credit Union Times report. The program, called Safe Harbor Private Banking, is designed as a stand-alone company that seeks to “expand the (Partner Colorado) cannabis banking program nationally and help […]

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Appeals Court Decision Breathes New Life Into Cannabis Credit Union Plan

A decision last week by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may allow plans for the world’s first banking institution dedicated to legal cannabis to move forward, according to a Cannabist report. The Fourth Corner Credit Union was first announced in 2014 as a solution to the cannabis industry’s status quo as an all-cash industry. […]

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The Current State of Cannabis Business

One of the first things you learn in high school civics class is that there is federal law, and then there is state law. There are times where these two worlds collide; the collision is particularly bad when it comes to cannabis. Currently, we have 29 states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized […]

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PNC Bank Drops MPP Accounts

PNC Bank is closing the accounts of the Marijuana Policy Project after an audit revealed that the organization received funding from a company that ‘touches the plant,’ according to a Washington Post report. MPP is not involved in cannabis cultivation or processing. Nick Field, MPP’s chief operating officer indicated that a PNC Bank representative told […]

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Federal SAFE Banking Act Would Normalize Banking for Canna-Businesses

The dangers, inefficiencies, and potential for loss due to the cannabis industry’s cash-dominated system are well documented – and while there are memos from both the Justice Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that provide a path for financial institutions to provide services to the industry, a federal bill filed last week would provide […]

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