The leading financial services provider for America’s legal cannabis industry has announced a partnership with Nevada’s First Security Bank that will see it expand its offering to financial compliance.
Blue Line Protection Group, which already assists clients with state regulatory compliance and asset protection, will now be able to offer banking services to lawful marijuana growers and dispensaries. It has also begun opening accounts on clients’ behalf at Salas Credit Union in Seattle and Champion Bank in Colorado.
The legal marijuana industry is expected to grow to around $2.34 billion this year, according to Wall Street Cheat Sheet, but onerous compliance obligations mean that most mainstream banks avoid it altogether. Last year, politicians in Washington and Colorado brought the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (MBABA) to Congress, which, if passed, would protect banks with state-legitimised marijuana clients from prosecution by federal regulators – but the bill is thought to have just a 1% chance of being enacted. For banks, the risks and hurdles “are just too great to overcome,” says Karen Thomas, Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy at the Independent Community Bankers of America.
By introducing financial compliance services, Blue Line hopes to tackle the issue, opening up billions of dollars of potential to financial services in the US. “Because Blue Line is already providing state regulatory compliance services to legal dispensaries and grows, I believe our financial regulatory compliance platform will enable banks to meet the stringent federal banking compliance guidelines,” said Dan Sullivan, Blue Line Protection Group’s Vice President of Sales and Training.
Sean Campbell, CEO, agrees. “This is a significant day for the Company and the cannabis industry as a whole as our platform has the potential to open the door for financial institutions to bank legal businesses engaged in the marijuana industry,” he said.
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