Marijuana businesses struggle to work with banks



Posted on March 12, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 12:35 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--One of the big challenges for anyone trying to get into the marijuana business is finding a bank to support them.

The state started issuing licenses for marijuana businesses at the end of March. It is unclear when and if the businesses will be able to find banks that accept their money.

The federal government gave guidelines to banks on how to do business with legal marijuana businesses in states like Washington.

Many in the field are still unsure about how to move forward. Numerica Credit Union told KREM 2 News that it is evaluating the risks associated with accepting money from marijuana related businesses approved by Initiative 502.

STCU also said in a statement to KREM 2 News that no bank or credit union could go forward without considering the costs and resources needed to hold accounts for marijuana businesses.

Global Credit Union said they have no plans in place to start accepting money from marijuana businesses.    

The Spokane businessman who received the first license for recreational marijuana business in Washington stressed the need for banks to support the new industry.

Numerica said it is reviewing the issue and was not accepting money from the businesses at the moment.

STCU said it was just starting to review the idea on Tuesday and does not know when it will be able to make a decision.

The guidance from the federal government is not enough for Global Credit Union to consider working with marijuana businesses at the time.

KREM 2 News reached out to a couple of other Spokane area credit unions but did not hear back from them Tuesday on if they are considering working with marijuana related businesses.