Maryland credit union to cannabis businesses: We’re open

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An aptly named credit union in Maryland is ready and willing to serve the state’s medical marijuana businesses.

And it’s doing so with the knowledge it has some federal support.

The Bulldog Federal Credit Union, a federally chartered institution founded in 1968 in Washington County, made its announcement less than a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Cole Memo, which gave marijuana businesses some protection from federal interference.

Sessions’ decision raised fears that the relatively few financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses might drop those accounts and those that were thinking about working with cannabis companies could pull back.

But as Reuters points out, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency within the U.S. Treasury Department, has not rescinded the guidance it issued in February 2014 parallel to the Cole Memo.

The (FinCEN) guidelines outline how banks can serve state-compliant marijuana businesses.

According to a news release, Bulldog has developed a program that follows compliance procedures outlined by state and FinCEN guidelines and can serve compliant MMJ businesses across Maryland, which was home to 48 licensed growers, processors and dispensaries through Dec. 19.

Bulldog’s announcement is the second recent instance of a Maryland financial institution serving marijuana companies.

Severn Savings Bank, a community bank in Annapolis, has opened accounts for at least four marijuana businesses.