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Banking Marijuana Related Business: Are We There Yet? | Lexology

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It costs me $500/mo to bank with a local CU.

The reason, as I understand, is federal law prevents banks from investing with cannabis money. They can hold balances in cash, and process transactions, but cannot make money off of our money. They also have to do regular reporting of every single transaction. This is all estimated to be about $500/mo in costs, currently.

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It shouldn’t cost you $500/month to use the credit union. Granted that you should expect a charge for taking in cash deposits merely due to handling cost like any other retailer that uses a bank for cash handling/armored car pick up.

The current bottom line from FinCEN is

The SAR reporting expectations outlined in the February 14, 2014 guidance, FIN-2014-G001 remains in place. FinCEN will continue to work closely with law enforcement and the financial sector to combat illicit finance, and we will notify the financial sector of any changes to FinCEN’s SAR reporting expectation

The core set of FinCEN guidance for financial institutions can be found here.

The critical guidelines we watch were initially issued as https://www.fincen.gov/resources/statutes-regulations/guidance in February 2014

Some of the background guidance goes back > 20 years to FATF-VII Report on Money Laundering Typologies and FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE ON MONEY LAUNDERING FATF
FinCEN Marijuana Banking Update - January 2018

An excellent article from the law firm Dorsey & Whitney on FinCEN and Cannabis is here.

The information above is widely available and if your current attorney/accountant team hasn’t given you that much, maybe they need to be replaced. We can’t really get into more specific detail than that in a public forum, though we certainly do provide additional assistance, strategy and implementation for our clients.

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I’ve heard talk of other banks becoming more friendly, in Oregon, specifically. As of now, I know of one, and they charge $500/mo flat fee. We have 1 wire deposit per year and normal business expenses. It’s not exactly a competitive market as far as I am aware…

You sound like you know of more obliging banks with better rates, or are you just generalizing that it should not be that expensive? If the latter is the case, I would have to agree.

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If I may respond to you question, no, I am NOT aware of specific banks in your area and their rates, given the size of the US that would be near impossible. At the same time, I am NOT making a generic guess. What is did is very specific. We are a CPA firm, and while we can wrap it in 20+ different ways the only thing we have to sell is information, knowledge and experience. If you noticed, I was very direct in saying that the policy that your local credit union was explaining to you is BS, they made it up to justify what they want to charge. What I gave you is links to all of the information that quickly came to mind that would help you understand what the current status of the rules are.

We are not in the pimping business, and on of the paragraphs in our Engagement Letter states the following:

We will not accept a commission or referral fees from an attest client period. We will not accept a commission or referral fee for a non- attest client without fully disclosing the the entirety of the details in writing and obtaining your written consent". We are not “pimps”.

Rather, we earn our fees by providing services and solution which work for the benefit or out clients. The benefit of the referral network we have built up over years in practice comes with being a client of our firm.

While we welcome expressions of interest to become a client of our firm, and explore how we could be of benefit, this forum has specific rules concerning self promotion and solicitation of business with which we seek to comply. However, we are not shy about encouraging anyone that has interest to merely peruse our home page which is here, to get a sense of the range of services we provide to our clients and the depth of our experience. We realize that this may not be what you are looking for, but its how we choose to conduct our business.

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I thought I would share a post that came out this morning on CannaLawBlog written by Hillary Bricken would is certainly a competent, you self-aggrandizing attorney with Harris Bricken which is one of the few law firms serving the cannabis industry that we generally trust. The article is entitled Marijuana Banking Fraud: What You Need to Know.

Our point is that her article essentially mirrors EVERY SINGLE POINT THAT WE HAD TRIED TO MAKE IN OUR RESPONSE TO YOU. So now you have to competent sources highlighting the same points… I thinks that should tell us something. There is NO MAGIC in banking a cannabis industry business. Its all about knowing the rules and doing the work, ONE BUSINESS AT A TIME.

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Do you mean Hillary Bricken?
We have worked with her in the past when she was at the Seattle law firm. Highly recommend her services and happy to see she started her own firm.

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Yep that would be Hillary Bricken…now imagine her with another 25 year of experience and that would be we we are :rofl:

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We are FIRST MERCHANT BANK CARD SERVICES https://firstmerchantbank.org
Today we joined this network as we were very impressed with the portal.

We offer merchant accounts for Visa, MasterCard and signature (no PIN) debit cards.
We also offer loans to the Cannabis industry ($3million -$25million) and a legacy cash deposit program into the banking system where we can accept up to $10million in cash per week.
We look forward to responding to any inquiries.

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