WASHINGTON: Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.” And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.
Now in the wake of Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana in Washington state, some banks and credit unions may be ready to officially open accounts for marijuana businesses. Numerica, a Spokane Valley-based credit union, has announced it will accept state-licensed businesses as clients.
Seattle attorney Robert McVay with the Canna Law Group said there are more to come.
“Small banks, especially the community banks, are certainly looking into it if only because it’s a new industry and whoever takes that first plunge, whoever takes the risk, is going to get lots and lots and lots of business,” McVay said. “We’re working with a couple financial institutions here in the state that are likely going to do this.”