MBank, an Oregon-based financial institution, has started taking deposits from marijuana companies in Colorado.
The bank, which already works with cannabis businesses in Washington and dispensaries in Oregon, said it has looked to state and federal regulators on the issue and is confident in its business model, according to the Denver Post.
MBank CEO Jef Baker called the move “a bold maneuver,” saying his institution has received tacit (or unwritten) approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the newspaper reported. Five Colorado-based MJ businesses have already opened accounts, he said.
Banking has been a sore subject among cannabis business owners.
Despite federal guidance saying banks won’t be prosecuted for doing business with cannabis companies as long as they vigorously monitor customers in the industry, most aren’t willing to take the risk. Bank executives fear they’ll run afoul of anti-money laundering rules or other laws that could lead to criminal or civil penalties.
Only a handful of banks in the U.S. currently serve marijuana businesses.