By: Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D. and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law
While most banks are refusing to work with marijuana businesses, The Fourth Corner Credit Union is welcoming them with open arms. On November, 19, 2014, the credit union was granted a charter by Colorado’s banking regulators. However, it still awaits a master account number from the Federal Reserve, which will give it access to the country’s electronic banking system. The process to get a account number typically takes weeks, but the credit union has been waiting for an answer for seven months.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union is Making a Difference in the Marijuana Industry.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union will accept cash deposits and allow customers to make electronic transfers for payroll and rent, and to purchase supplies. In November, the credit union had high hopes of a master account number without a fight, because the Federal Reserve gives the numbers to organizations that are granted state charters. However, seven months later the credit union still has a “Coming Soon” banner hanging above the front door.
To comply with state and federal rules, Fourth Corner will largely limit its operations to Colorado. Transactions will be approved by bankers who are keeping a close eye on where the money is transferring to ensure it is going towards the business and not redirected to cartels or gangs.
Recreational Marijuana in Colorado.
Colorado is one of four states, including D.C., that allows recreational pot. However, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, which regulates banks. Banks will not offer the businesses an account to access the traditional banking system. This leaves Colorado’s marijuana businesses in a bind and without a means to accept credit cards, debit cards or checks.
The state is home to nearly 800 recreational marijuana shops, taking in a total of $38 million in cash during February 2015. The businesses are forced to stockpile the enormous amounts of cash in homes or in safes, because there is nowhere for the businesses to put it. Handling this amount of cash is not a small task, it is time-consuming, dangerous and costly. Thus, it is important for marijuana business owners in Colorado to have a safe place to store money and conduct business transactions.
What are your thoughts on a credit union specifically focusing on the marijuana industry? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.
The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.
To contact the Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com
Hughes, Trevor. “Colorado OKs Marijuana Credit Union.” USA Today. (December 8, 2014). From:
Fox31 Denver. “Pot Problem: Banks Still Don’t Want This Cash.” (April 14, 2015). From:
Richtel, Matt. “The First Bank of Bud Marijuana Industry in Colorado, Eager for Its Own Bank, Waits on the Fed.” The New York Times. (February 5, 2015). From:
About the Authors: Carole C. Schriefer is a nurse-attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. It has a branch office in Fort Collins, Colorado.
KeyWords: The Fourth Corner Credit Union, Medical marijuana, medical cannabis, recreational marijuana, recreational cannabis, defense attorney, defense lawyer, health lawyer, marijuana, The Health Law Firm
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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