CA credit union reveals that it’s been banking cannabis businesses for a year

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A California credit union said it has been providing banking services to licensed marijuana businesses for roughly a year, the North Bay Business Journal reported.

North Bay Credit Union in Santa Rosa is currently handling financial transactions for cannabis companies in areas north of San Francisco, such as Sonoma County, though CEO Chris Call declined to identify the institution’s clients, the Business Journal reported.

The credit union is limiting the size of the deposits made by cannabis businesses so the institution can manage its capital ratios, Call noted, and it’s risking federal prosecution and investigations for handling financial transactions for those companies, he told the publication.

Increasingly, credit unions are providing banking services to marijuana businesses, which are often rejected by private banks.

Because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, many banks are nervous about running afoul of the U.S. government by doing business with the industry, although some do work with cannabis-related companies.

North Bay Credit Union’s announcement comes on the heels of a report commissioned by a working group launched by California Treasurer John Chiang that found the state would likely lose money and face overwhelming federal barriers if it tried to create a state-backed bank to help cannabis businesses navigate banking challenges.

– Marijuana Business Daily and Associated Press