Banking Progress in Colorado, Washington

Banking relief for cannabis businesses in Colorado and Washington state may be within reach.

In Colorado, the state Legislature has approved the country’s first-ever banking system for cannabis businesses, while in Washington a major credit union announced it will open accounts for recreational marijuana growers and processors.

The Colorado bill – which needs a final green light from the governor – creates cannabis-specific financial cooperatives that will be overseen by the state’s financial services commissioner. The co-ops will function similarly to credit unions and will not require deposit insurance.

The Colorado Bankers Association publicly rejected the bill, stating that it was a non-starter due to marijuana’s inclusion in the Controlled Substances Act.┬áBut proponents believe that the Justice Department’s recent memo on banking could pave the way for a state-run institution to operate.

The plan, though, hinges on approval from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Critics believe the governing body will veto the plan since it does not require deposit insurance.

Washington state’s Numerica Credit Union will also test the Justice Department’s guidelines when it begins offering accounts to marijuana cultivators and processors. The Spokane-based credit union, which already has 100,000 members, is the first in the state to publicly work with the businesses.

Numerica’s executives agreed to work with growers and processors, however they balked at the idea of offering accounts for recreational stores that sell marijuana to consumers.

The credit union offered up a set of working guidelines for cannabis businesses it will serve:

– Each marijuana business account is limited to $5 million in total deposits.

– The credit union will not issue debit or credit cards attached to the marijuana accounts.

– The marijuana businesses cannot use remote deposit capture (taking a photo of a check and depositing it via a cell phone).

– All deposits must be made in person, with no night deposits allowed.

– Account holders must live in an area where Numerica has a branch. The credit union has 17 branches in Washington state and Idaho.

– Account holders cannot make deposits or withdraw money from other credit unions that are part of the same credit union network.

5 comments on “Banking Progress in Colorado, Washington
  1. Scott Jordan on

    Very Exciting news for the industry , and for Colorado Cannabis related businesses .The last step will be with the federal reserve allowing these new Co-ops to get FDIC insurance.
    Note to the FED lets do the right thing for this growing industry , public safety and having the states be able to collect all the tax revenue due .

    Reply
  2. Bill Monroe on

    The industry needs secure banking. This is not a Colorado and Washington problem. Soon Florida, Alaska, and Oregon will require banking services.

    Reply
  3. Steven North on

    Note: the story cites a Memo. No USC Code, SubSection … Now with people coming across State lines to enjoy the fruits of Colorado and Washington, WE HAVE CREATED interstate trafficking. The above comes from a prior story in the Washington Times. All that cash, is now traceable to be confiscated. (Get a bigger safe) until the US Legislature passes actual laws and not just publish opinions. Deliver your sales tax monies in$1.00 denominations. GET THEIR ATTENTION!

    Reply
  4. i am youre Mother on

    the industry needs reform big time cause our people are filling important gaps in this ecomny. so keep getting sick? keep smoking supporting a cause that really a small number of people really benefit. then what they die? and? o i forgot just smoke a joint cause it legal!the industry is a dangerous, unhealing misconception. keep writing all these articles that make no effort on really being concern for the sick

    Reply

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