• Brian M.

Cannabis Banking Made Easy with Ecosystem Partner Green Check Verified

For years, the cannabis industry has had a black cloud over its head in regards to financial services and banking. As you can imagine, operating as a cash-only business is messy and increases the risk of error. Cash is hard to keep track of, it’s inconvenient for the customers, and then you have to worry about storing and transporting massive amounts of it for your cannabis operation.

But the tides are turning for digital banking within the cannabis industry — and will continue to as we inch closer toward federal legalization. That’s why we are excited to announce our partnership with Green Check Verified to help bring affordable and reliable banking to the cannabis community.

A stormy cannabis banking past

As we’ve alluded to above, cannabis banking (or lack thereof) has been rocky at best. As of June 2020, only 625 banks and credit unions served cannabis-related businesses, according to a report by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Now keep in mind that’s for a legal market that was worth $17 billion last year.

So, where is all of this cash sitting? In warehouses, satchels, envelopes, back pockets, office safes — you get the idea. It’s a flawed and dangerous situation. Over the last few years, there have been numerous reports of financial theft, fraud and robberies of cannabis retail operations across the U.S. who are sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash that they can’t transfer into secure bank accounts.

While the fact of the matter is that growing and selling cannabis — either medically, recreationally or both — is legal at the state-level, major banks and financial institutions must comply with regulations from the federal government. And because of that, most of them won't touch marijuana money. It's a risk many institutions aren't willing to take, especially since handling cash related to cannabis can be considered money laundering without the proper controls in place.

As a result, cannabis retailers have armoured themselves with detailed around-the-clock security guards and bulletproof safes to keep an eye on their precious pots of gold but this is not a sustainable model.

The future of cannabis banking is green

The good news is that more and more local credit unions and smaller banking institutions have been stepping up to help ease the financial burden for many dispensaries and grow operations.

But it can be challenging to find institutions near you that are willing to accept cannabis cash. While legislation like the SAFE Banking Act will help provide safer banking options to cannabis businesses, there’s a lot we can do today in our own backyards to make cannabis banking more accessible.

That’s why we’re excited to welcome Green Check Verified to the MJstack partner ecosystem. Their mission is to help cannabis businesses gain access to stable, affordable banking by partnering with financial institutions that have actively chosen to work with the industry .

Green Check's free-to-use software connects you with financial institutions that are able to confidently offer you the services you need — at a cost you can afford. Plus, you get to work directly with your banking partner with no middleman, which saves time and money.

Acutely aware of the ongoing financial roadblocks for cannabis operators, Green Check has observed, for hundreds of cannabis businesses, that simply gaining access to familiar and reliable financial services that were once kept out of reach can positively impact the growth trajectory of their businesses.

In fact, their data showed that average sales increased 14% this year alone for businesses with stable banking relationships.

When relieved of the burden of managing overwhelming amounts of cash, business owners can focus on increasing their sales, supporting their employees and serving their communities.

And if you’re wondering how your fellow dispensaries are able to take (legitimate) debit card payments, it starts with banking-enabled digital payments. You can’t have digital payment options until you have a secure and reliable financial institution. But once you do, it’s smooth sailing. Most cannabis retailers experience a 20% boost in ticket price when they go digital, which is yet another reason to make the investment!

Up-level your cannabis banking today

The ability to work with reliable and secure financial institutions should also integrate seamlessly with the rest of your canantech stack like your point-of-sale software, your digital payments solution and even your accounting, HR and payroll solutions.

This saves you time, money and headaches, and drastically improves the customer experience while also boosting your sales. But finding the right tools and partners for your business can be a real nuisance. As a busy cannabis owner and operator, your time is valuable. You deserve to have the best tech solutions to optimize your business without the hassle of going through the lengthy vendor evaluation process.

That’s where a free cannatech consulting service like MJstack can help point you in the right direction. During a free consultation, we learn everything we can about your cannabis business needs and based on that, make personalized and immediate recommendations that cut down your vendor search by half and provide clearer direction to your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Green Check Verified can up-level your cannabis banking operations, schedule a free consultation with MJstack today. It’s our mission to help pair you with the right partners across your full cannatech stack while also taking the burden of time-consuming vendor evaluations off your plate.

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