No matter how well a cannabis farmer or retailer goes by the book and follows every regulation, not everyone wants their legally-earned money.
“When you first start out and you have these big wads of $20 bills, it feels a bit illegal,” said Kevin Oliver, co-owner of Washington’s Finest Cannabis.
Federal regulations prevent traditional banks from offering services to anyone associated with the cannabis industry, even though sales and possession of marijuana products are legal in more than half the states. This requires businesses to either use cash to pay their bills, taxes, employee paychecks and other purchases, or seek the services of certain state-based credit unions.
In Washington, Numerica Credit Union was the first credit union in the country to express an interest in working with cannabis clients, as early as May 2014.
“I had heard stories about violent crime associated with [the excess cash of] medical marijuana, so we