Cannabis is becoming more legal in many states around the U.S. however many problems in the industry have persisted due to prohibition-era rules and regulations. One major issue is the lack of banks willing to work with cannabis businesses out of fear of federal crackdown and having their financial licenses revoked due to working with businesses dealing in a federally prohibited substance. Less than 4% of U.S. banks and credit unions currently work with state-legal cannabis businessess but now the GFA Federal Credit Union has announced that they will begin accepting marijuana clients in Massachusetts starting on October 1st. This inclusion into normal business practices not only makes business dealings simpler for each company involved, but it also makes communities safer by removing the major cash-on-hand that dispensaries and other marijuana businesses often must keep in their facilities without the ability to deposit in a bank.
“We’re looking at a cannabis business as a legitimate business that wants to be recognized as such and that, without banking services, presents a tremendous public safety issue in our communities,” Tina Sbrega, GFA’s CEO, told the Globe. “Otherwise, you’re talking millions and millions of dollars of cash on the street.”