The Marijuana Industries Banking Problem
Because Marijuana is still illegal on a Federal level, banks cannot do business with Marijuana dispensaries and other Marijuana related businesses. This is putting a real bind on the industry and several businesses have had to resort to alternative means of protecting their wealth.
Banks fear the government
Banks fear doing business with Marijuana dispensaries because of potential Federal backlash. They are heavily regulated institutions and don’t feel the hassle of doing business with the Marijuana industry is worth the overbearing Federal oversight.
Dispensaries make millions
Some of these businesses are making millions in cash transactions and they need a safe way to store that money. Having that much cash on hand makes them prime targets for robbery. As a result, several dispensaries operate with many of the same protocols as banks do for security. Employees sometimes operate in protected spaces and armed guards are present. Other dispensaries have membership programs similar to Costco. This allows them to verify their customers.
Are private security firms the answer?
Some Marijuana businesses are turning to private security firms to protect their investments. Private security firms provide protection for the businesses and can assist in transport of large sums of cash. Dispensaries go even further with plenty of surveillance, precautionary measures taken with customers, and varying schedules for money delivery.
How do you transfer that much money?
Transporting and storing this money is handled with armored trucks and security vaults that operate independently of banks. There have been stories of owners burying their money in the woods and storing money in giant safes, but none of these options are better than just putting it in a bank.
Cash only transactions – that’s nothing new
For customers, cash only transactions can be annoying but most stoners are used to paying cash so no big deal. There are companies that are making it possible to make digital transactions. PayQwick is a company that acts as a buffer between your bank account and the pot dispensary. PayQwick is an online service that links your bank account to a digital account similar to PayPal. This allows dispensaries to offer debit and credit transactions.
New jobs, a politicians wet dream
Several new businesses have cropped up due to the legalization of Marijuana. Security firms, surveillance companies, and money delivery services have all catered to the Marijuana industry. Surely politicians that stand in opposition to marijuana can see the job potential in this booming industry. Politicians should consider all of the states that have legalized marijuana and all the jobs that have been created as a result of that ruling.
We’re getting there, folks
I think the momentum is too strong to stem the tide of Marijuana legalization on a Federal level. Once we achieve that goal, dispensaries will be able to operate like any other business. Until then, they will have to continue with the dicey nature of handling boatloads of cash without a bank.