In Legal Weed Industry, Solutions For Lack Of Banking Access May Lie in Building Relationships

CHICAGO -- In any business, personal relationships often are the key. In the marijuana business, that could be even truer, especially when it comes to banking needs.

Marijuana largely is an all-cash business. Banks are skittish because growing and selling marijuana still is illegal under federal law, which classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug. But some store owners and others in the marijuana business who have had pre-existing relationships, especially at small community institutions, have been able to convince bankers to work with them, said Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily, which sponsored the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo here May 19-21.

Meg Sanders, CEO of Mindful, a cannabis-centered operation based in Denver, said community involvement is extremely important as well. "We call it doing well by doing good. ... We don't go where they don't want us," Sanders said while conducting a crash course on the...

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