WA Credit Union Shows Interest in Cannabis Accounts

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While most banks have publicly stood their ground against working with the cannabis industry, one credit union in Eastern Washington is inviting the business.

The Spokane-based Numerica Credit Union, which is the state’s fifth-largest credit union, said it needs to form specific procedures before it can work with cannabis accounts. But a bank representative said the bank is ready to create accounts for licensed businesses.

“We’re excited about the prospects,” said Lynn Ciani, general counsel for the bank.

Numerica’s position is a rarity in the banking industry. Nearly two weeks after the federal government released banking guidelines for working with cannabis businesses, most banking institutions and banking associations have publicly distanced themselves from cannabis clients.

The American Bankers Association, Wells Fargo and the Colorado Bankers Association all said that nothing short of the government reclassifying marijuana would persuade them to take on cannabis accounts. Other banks said they would not offer loans for cannabis landlords.

Even the Washington Bankers Association, which represents 80 banks, don’t see the government’s rules as a green light.

Numerica Credit Union was the only bank in Eastern Washington to welcome the cannabis industry. Representatives from the state’s Sears Spokane Employees Federal Credit Union, the Northwest Credit Union Association, the Verity Credit Union and the Teachers Credit Union all said they were not working with the industry at this time.