Due to the perception of (as opposed to actual and practical) risk of banking the cannabis industry largely based upon misinformation or a deliberate lack of information as well as ingrained prejudice against marijuana, US financial institutions are nearly universally unwilling to open accounts or provide basic banking service to marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) or ancillaries who provide services to them.
As a result, except for a lucky few most are either obliged to operate entirely in cash, or seek a ‘covert’ (some would say fraudulent) checking account, merchant processing, ‘cashless ATM’ or ‘electronic wallet’ workaround under an innocuous guise, i.e., a flower shop or consulting company and expect to have their account closed and be obliged to find an alternative solution 3x-4x a year.
Banks’ reckless disregard of their responsibility in the financial system as ‘essential stewards of commerce’ additionally has the consequence of flooding communities with billions in untracked cash serving to incubate and encourage violent and organized crime, injury to innocent bystanders, tax evasion, money laundering, inadequate compliance and shady accounting.
ORION GROUP NYC is building a network of 200 cannabis-friendly financial institutions by 4Q/2018 to service all industry segments and put an end to this madness.
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