On Jan. 19, the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) announced it will provide its members access to banking services through the California-based North Bay Credit Union, helping to ease banking obstacles for businesses by offering checking, online bill payment, wire transfers and ACH processing for cannabis operations.
The CCIA agreement is a positive first step that hopefully will encourage more financial institutions across the U.S. to open their doors to the cannabis industry, as will the recent regulatory changes such as the December 2020 initiative to reclassify cannabis from the Schedule IV list.
“Our goal is to alleviate the challenges that small businesses in the cannabis space face when it comes to banking,” CCIA Executive Director Lindsay Robinson said in a news release. “We look forward to working with the NBCU to ensure our members receive the banking services they need to conduct business safely and efficiently.”
Historically, fearing legal implications from the federal government, most financial institutions want nothing to do with money generated from the cannabis industry. This has forced many cannabis businesses to operate on a cash-only basis, which creates functional challenges for businesses, and also puts them at greater risk for theft.
As of last September, a mere 677 banks and credit unions were providing services for cannabis operation businesses—a small fraction of the banking industry, according to federal regulators. The good news, as highlighted with this recent development, is that the list of state financial institutions considering the handling of cannabis-linked funds is growing, as more legal safeguards for banks and credit unions are being established.
As a cannabis industry specialist, I am actively involved in leading industry associations – including the CCIA – and believe it’s important to stay informed on key issues that could impact your cannabis business. To learn how your cannabis operation can benefit from our industry expertise, products and services, please contact me, Corey Tobin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 626-703-1556.