Florida bank welcomes medical marijuana businesses

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A bank has taken the unusual step of embracing medical marijuana businesses in Florida.

Orlando-based First Green Bank has opened accounts and granted financial services to six of Florida’s seven licensed MMJ producers, according to The Palm Beach Post.

First Green Bank’s services include accepting large cash deposits from marijuana firms and – without touching the money – transporting the funds straight from the business to a Federal Reserve location via armored trucks.

The bank – which apparently is the only Florida financial institution working with medical cannabis businesses – has already taken in $30 million in deposits from MMJ companies and a total of $485 million in deposits at the end of March, the Post reported.

First Green Bank has issued one loan so far, a $2.6 million mortgage for property that will be home to a MMJ dispensary and a few other tenants not connected to the cannabis sector, according to the newspaper.

But the situation isn’t exactly on strong footing.

First Green Bank worked for months to convince Florida regulators they were fit to work with marijuana companies, the Post reported, and says it has “a rock-solid kill switch” that could close all MMJ-related accounts in 24 hours if federal regulators give the order.

Though many banks do work quietly with cannabis-related companies, few advertise a willingness to take on marijuana clients.

And some that have done so have later changed course.