A credit union in Maryland, USA, is offering banking services to support the state’s rising medical cannabis industry.
The industry is experiencing rapid growth but has struggled to access finance, with most banks reluctant to deal with an industry that is still considered illegal at a federal level, despite being legal in some states.
But at the start of the month, Bulldog Credit Union stepped in to fill the gap. In Maryland, recreational use is illegal but a state-regulated medical marijuana programme became operational on December 1 2017.
In a press release, Bulldog’s president, David Barrett, said: “As a financial institution, we recognise the need for medical cannabis entrepreneurs to be able to conduct a business in a forthright, transparent and compliant manner that is both safe and part of the state regulatory environment.”
He added: “By offering our services to the cannabis industry, we will help remove large sums of cash from our streets, making the environment safer for our communities, friends and most importantly, our families.
“By providing safe, compliant, economical financial solutions to the entrepreneurs in Maryland’s medical cannabis industry, we hope to help them to realise growth and prosperity legitimately, and that will benefit not only our members but our community at large and our local economy.”
And speaking to cannabis industry website 1Weed, he added that credit unions elsewhere could offer services to medical marijuana businesses, while banks were stay away.
“I think more places will start looking at it and thinking about doing it,” he said. “I think the credit unions are more susceptible to looking at something like this.”