by Eric Kaufman, Chief Revenue Office of Dama Financial
Contrary to popular belief, legal cannabis operators do have access to FDIC-insured banking services, including checking accounts, interest-earning accounts, armored car cash pick-up, and fairly priced installment loans. FinCEN itself has provided some guidance on how to bank cannabis, and the Department of Justice (through the Cole Memo priorities) specifically stated that prosecuting state-legal cannabis operators is not a priority.
Despite having access to financial services, however, many cannabis businesses have yet to engage with the traditional banking system. Some owners are misinformed about their options, while others choose to continue operating entirely in cash, often citing the associated banking fees as a deterrent.
It’s true that running a cash-only business doesn’t come with a formal price tag, but it does have two significant costs.
The biggest price of operating in cash is the security threat it poses. Having tens of thousands of dollars (or more!) on hand puts not just innocent employees and customers at risk of falling victim to crime, …