NEWS BRIEF

Puerto Rico medical marijuana companies now without banking option

Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana companies have lost their only banking solution, forcing them to conduct business in cash.

Tu Coop, an in-state credit union, had been providing banking to MMJ firms as part of the cooperative sector, which is regulated by local authorities, Caribbean Business reported.

Israel Menchaca, executive director of Tu Coop, was unavailable to comment on why the company is dropping the service, according to the news outlet.

The medical marijuana firms will now be unable to carry out electronic payments, which are required by the Treasury Department. This will also make it difficult for MMJ businesses to pay sales and use taxes.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • One Puerto Rico cannabis attorney, Goodwin Aldarondo, said it’s unclear if state institutions, including the Municipal Revenue Collections Center, will take cash payments.
  • The lack of a banking solution could also create a crime risk for MMJ businesses that are moving and storing large amounts of cash, he added.
  • Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana market has more than 90 cannabis businesses, including more than 50 dispensaries, and has been doing robust commerce despite setbacks from the devastating Hurricane Maria in 2017.

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