New York’s five medical cannabis business license winners will likely have a tough time finding banking services, much like the rest of the industry.
A handful of major banks in the state – including Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank and Key Bank – told Politico that they have no plans to work with the marijuana industry in New York or anywhere else.
“Until we get clarity from the feds, we are not banking on marijuana-related business,” a spokesman from JP Morgan Chase told Politico.
Other banks echoed the sentiment, saying the lack of clarity is a deal breaker because they don’t want to risk breaking federal laws in order to work with cannabis companies.
That leaves the five licensees in New York with much fewer options, although many in the industry have long known that chances of obtaining financial services are much higher with smaller banks.
Columbia Care, one of the New York license winners, told Politico that it’s confident it will be able to obtain banking services, including those that allow customers to pay for medical cannabis with ATM or debit cards.
Empire State Health Solutions, another licensee, said it’s currently in the process of finalizing a banking deal. Another company that won a license, PharmaCann, told the outlet that it’s “in discussion” with New York banks on getting financial services.
None of the three companies agreed to identify which banks they’re negotiating with.