Lack Of Cannabis Banking Hurts Average Small Business Owners, While Wealthy Entrepreneurs Flourish

An employee of A Greener Today, a retail cannabis business in Seattle, holds cash next to one of the store’s safes in this 2014 file photo (Photo by Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images).

Most people think cash stacking up in vaults is the biggest problem caused by the cannabis industry’s lack of access to institutional banking. That is a problem, as it creates real concerns for public safety, as well as makes the industry harder to track and more ripe for illicit market diversion and money laundering.

But the lack of banking services for cannabis businesses has much more far-reaching implications that do not garner as much attention—but should.

Banking restrictions are effectively blocking nearly everyone but the wealthy and well-connected from getting into and benefitting from what is the fastest-growing industry in the country. They also are

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