In the state of Alaska, Credit Union 1 is one of the first banking institutions that have vowed to offer services to local cannabis business owners. This is a major accomplishment for the cannabis industry. This credit union is located in Anchorage, Alaska for sixty six years now. The credit union is planning to kick off their pilot program in providing banking services to all the cannabis-related businesses that has been approved by the state.
The focus is to help small business access financial services where it was not possible before. However, only legal cannabis businesses will benefit from this new development. And more importantly, these cannabis business owners will be under comprehensive and consistent monitoring, which will be administered by the compliance team. This is to make sure that all facets of their cannabis business remain legal.
Credit Union 1 in Alaska is not the only financial institution that is offering this type of service to cannabis business owners. The Wright Patt Credit Union in Ohio also announced their plants to do the same, but in a limited sense and the services will be offered only to medical marijuana business owners with a current license and they have to be operating in the state of Ohio to qualify. If you or anyone else has been a legal cannabis business owner, you should expect two things. You have to expect a wide range of marijuana products and noticeable presence of a security officer or officers. Security is important for public safety, but also for securing the large amounts of cash that will be made in day to day business.
Medical and Recreational Cannabis
Medical marijuana has been legal in Alaska since 1998. Recreational marijuana was made legal in November 2014. Since that time when weed was made legal in Alaska, there was a lack of banking services for cannabis business owners. As a result, large amounts of cash passed through the hands of operators with nowhere to keep it safe. It created a huge safety issue in the community. The same is true of other communities.
Securing the Cash
Cannabis business owners have been forced to find various ways to secure their cash and they are also forced to pay taxes using cash instead of check or credit card. Credit Union 1 has now made it possible to bank all the money made. Other credit unions and banking institutions should soon follow suit. This is important as banking is important when you are running such a business that makes a lot of cash. You are setting yourself up to be robbed, if you don’t have an outlet to secure your cash.
The Importance of Banking
Banking is very important for every industry including the cannabis industry. Whether you are running a recreational or medicinal business, you still need to consider financial services. However, the federal government makes it difficult for cannabis business owners because weed is still considered illegal under the Schedule 1 classification. And so, the federal government might try to take legal action against the banks that offer financial services to cannabis business owners. Many banks are fearful of what the federal government can do to them. However, Credit Union 1 and the other banks that have signed on indicated that this is not a moral or political position that they have taken. Instead, it is more about just offering a well-needed service to an industry that has few options. Initially, the credit union will start with a few cannabis business owners in the pilot program to see how it works and if it is feasible under their guidelines. To learn more about how cannabis business owners are doing as it relates to financial services, visit the Cannabis Training University.