CO Banks Won’t Finance Marijuana Properties

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Colorado banks are maintaining their hard line against working with marijuana businesses; and that means no loans for business owners or their landlords.

The state’s two largest banks, Wells Fargo Bank and FirstBank, say they will not offer loans to property owners who are leasing to marijuana businesses. And Wells Fargo and Vectra Bank have told commercial loan clients who currently rent to marijuana businesses that they will have to either evict their clients, or refinance the loans elsewhere.

The news comes less than a week after federal banking officials offered guidance to banks for how to work with cannabis clients. That announcement did not appear to convince any banks to offer regular accounts to marijuana businesses. But it appears the news did little to impact lending practices either.

One Colorado landlord said Wells Fargo had already refused to refinance his loan after the bank sent an employee to inspect his property and noticed a marijuana business operating there.

Ron Tilton, executive vice president of FirstBank, said the bank has not yet cancelled any commercial loans in midstream, however it would not give new loans to landlords that lease to marijuana businesses.

He said refinancing a loan will depend on how much of a property is leased to a marijuana business. If less than 20 percent of the property is used for a marijuana business, the bank would consider refinancing the loan.