One of the trickiest aspects about the cannabis business is the finances. Even with cannabis legalization successfully sweeping the nation, there are still businesses struggling to work out financial negations. This is because many of these establishments are FEDERAL banks, meaning they work with the regulations and standards laid out by the federal government. With these strict standards intact, these banks can provide very little help with cannabis businesses.
Massachusetts is one of the legal states that is still having trouble solving this financial problem. There are businesses that are able to take sales through debit or credit card; even still, other businesses operate on a cash-only business. But that’s all about to change this fall.
GFA Federal Credit Union will become the first financial institution in Massachusetts to offer banking services to recreational cannabis companies. This step will not only allow consumers to pay for their purchases with their plastic cards, but it will also help cannabis businesses avoid the expensive and risky procedure of a cash-only operations. This credit union will start serving clients on October 1st. They will be offering basic services such as checking accounts, cash managements, wire transfers, payroll, and bill payments.
After a year of research and preparations, GFA Federal Credit Union is ready to wade into the recreational cannabis industry. GFA holds just over $500 million assets, making it smaller than national giants such as Bank of America Corp. or State Street Corp. Even still, its simpler portfolio and status as a federal credit union should make it much easier for GFA to conduct business with cannabis companies without dealing with any federal scrutiny or endangering their investments and clientele.
This bold move strikes as a huge benefit for both the cannabis industry and its audiences. Cannabis businesses will be able to conduct better banking work to make their businesses more profitable. Customers will be able to use their debit or credit cards to purchase their cannabis; even better, businesses could offer them gift cards with prepaid credit inside. Offering payment via debit/credit cards will help cater financial needs for all audiences alike. Dispensaries won’t have to install a small ATM machine within the building, being that they will have more economic freedom for their business.
And that’s the big takeaway with this PR miracle – economic freedom. Businesses can become more creative in solving their economic problems with these banking tools at their disposals. Whether they want to conduct more purchases with plastic cards or create a better payroll plan, cannabis businesses will be provided with more tools ever to do that and more.
We still have many kinks to work out with this recreational market in Massachusetts, but GFA took a major step in the right direction. Getting the banks towards the 4/20 side will only propel this industry further here in America.
And with that, it is now time for banks to take part in this great green rush happening in this nation.