A perfunctory bank form letter threw our small business into chaos. We were told our account would be closed and our funds returned in 30 days. To add salt to the wound, the bank said no explanation was forthcoming. The decision was final.
We were shocked.
Companies like Women Grow, who are helping women cannabis entrepreneurs with necessary resources to succeed in the industry are unfortunately categorized as plant touching businesses. Many are often flagged by their banks solely because of their industry networking. Most are incorrectly decided upon as the same operational and business status as legal cannabis growers and distributors. But such is the state of disarray, irrational logic and confusion in cannabis banking.
Too many business networking event producers, trade associations and advocacy groups are casualties in this way as are left bankless or having to search for a banking institution who will accommodate their needs. Many do not meet the threshold requirements to open an account which asks for balances of seven figures or higher.
Federal banking laws differentiate between cannabis businesses like growers — who ‘touch’ the plant — and small businesses like ours which do not. But despite the fact 40 states have passed medical and adult use cannabis laws — with more soon to do so — It remains illegal for cannabis cultivators and distributors to fully access banking tools like credit cards, loans and lines of credit. By default, cash transactions are the predominant means of cannabis commerce. The result is dispensary robberies and compromised public safety.