Alaska credit union ending ties with MJ-related accounts

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A federally chartered credit union in Alaska has moved to sever ties with 10 personal accounts linked to individuals launching cannabis-related businesses.

The decision by the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union underscores the hurdles marijuana entrepreneurs continue to face when dealing with banks and credit unions. Alaska’s new recreational MJ market is attracting prospective entrants.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported the credit union took the unusual step of breaking ties with the personal account holders as a pre-emptive move – one aimed at heading off possible federal scrutiny over business ties to marijuana-related businesses. None of the businesses have opened.

Marijuana industry supporters have objected to the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union decision, saying it was premature, the newspaper reported.

The credit union sent letters to people last month who were applying for an MJ business license, asking them to shutter their accounts by August 19.

“Alaska USA is a federally chartered credit union, we do not offer account services to any person or organization engaged in the operation of a marijuana-related business, or any other type of business that violates federal law,” according to the letter from the credit union’s Fraud Resolution Department, the newspaper reported.

A vice president at the credit union told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the institution sent the letters in accordance with federal law.