While Maine’s cannabis industry has grown exponentially, the options for safe banking have not.
There are few safe, predictable, and secure banking sources to assist cannabis-related businesses (“CRBs”). When these businesses are supported by financial institutions, our communities stay safe and our economy grows.
Cannabis is Maine’s most valuable agricultural crop. Annual medical cannabis sales are over $250 million. Adult-use cannabis is projected to generate over $300 million a year.
Despite the legalization of cannabis at the state level, financial institutions face significant legal, operational, and regulatory risks when serving cannabis-related businesses. The burden has discouraged most of Maine’s financial institutions from serving these legal businesses. In fact, very few credit unions and banks in Maine do.
Without access to banking services, cannabis-related businesses have no choice but to operate on a cash-only basis.
Why This Matters
- The scenario poses a significant public safety risk and creates challenges for local law enforcement.
- The cash-only environment creates financial and security concerns for state and local government agencies when collecting taxes and fees.
- Limited banking services leaves cannabis-related businesses with no ability to write checks, make and receive electronic payments, utilize a payroll provider, or accept credit and debit cards.
- Employees are paid in cash and may be refused access to financial services such as mortgage or auto loans or even just a simple savings account.
Cannabis-related businesses need access to safe and reliable financial services to operate in a secure, efficient, compliant, and fiscally responsible manner.