I have long been a fan of the credit union model. Whereas banks are owned by shareholders who only care about profit, credit unions are owned by their members. My first ‘real’ job was at a credit union, so admittedly, I’m a bit biased. But by all means, research it for yourself and I think you will see that credit unions are awesome compared to banks. At a time when banks are avoiding the marijuana industry like the plague, credit unions are warming up to the idea of working with the industry, and in the case of at least one credit union in Oregon, marijuana business accounts are already opened and proudly being serviced.
Recently at the Governmental Affairs Conference dozens of credit union leaders met to discuss banking and the marijuana industry. From what it sounds like, many in the credit union world are planning on providing services to the emerging industry, which is greatly needed. Per Credit Union Times:
At previous Governmental Affairs Conferences, banking legal marijuana businesses was still too taboo of a topic for credit unions to discuss in a formal meeting.
But this year, something changed. On Sunday night, representatives from about 40 credit unions considering entering the marijuana banking space gathered at the Grand Hyatt to discuss the future of partnering with legal pot businesses. And despite recent threats from the Trump administration to crack down on recreational marijuana providers, attendees indicated that future is looking bright.
The industry really needs comprehensive, fair reform at the federal level. But if credit unions are willing to help in the interim in whatever capacity they can, I’m all for it. I personally know many people that have had their bank accounts shut down, even though their business doesn’t even ‘touch the plant.’ The stigma is so strong among banks that just the mere mention of cannabis is enough to get a companies finances frozen. No legitimate business should have to deal with such nonsense. Hopefully credit unions fill the void now as much as possible, and reap the rewards once significant reform comes at the federal level.
image via Wikipedia