Salal Credit Union currently provides service to business members in 20 states, and we’re expanding our reach all the time. Most of our business members are located in states along the west coast, and now, we’re reaching further north to serve new cannabis business members in Alaska.
These developments, according to Munzer Sukhun, Salal’s Senior Business Banking Sales Manager, give Salal the opportunity to continue supporting our current members as they grow into new geographic areas. “As we expand our footprint into new markets,” Munzer elaborated, “we’ll be able to help more underserved, legitimate businesses operate more efficiently and safely.”
Salal never takes this kind of expansion lightly, always digging deep into the specifics of the local landscape. “We do that by reviewing state-specific rules, analyzing the size and complexity of the market, and hearing from our members,” Munzer explained. “We’ll keep track of the inquiries we receive from both our current and prospective members and incorporate any specific feedback into our decision.”
Adult use of cannabis in Alaska was legalized through a ballot measure in 2015, and both adult-use and medical cannabis are now legal in that state. Retail cannabis is regulated through the State of Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) Marijuana Control Board, which oversees cultivation, manufacture, and sale of cannabis in Alaska.
This expansion is a significant step for Salal, since we have no current business members in Alaska. “Through the last several months, we learned that there are very limited financial institutions serving cannabis businesses in Alaska,” Munzer shared. “Salal felt the need and responsibility to offer our assistance to an already underbanked state, let alone an underbanked industry.”
We’re ready for the legwork that is always required when we begin to serve a new region. “The primary challenges for Salal,” Munzer described, “will be learning the various nuances within each new market, providing education on banking solutions, and building trust with businesses that have been turned down on many occasions.”
Our entire team of Account Officers is available to assist prospective members in Alaska, as well as the states we currently serve, so if you’re expanding your business into new locations, you’ll have continuity of service with your current Officer. “We plan on continuing to evaluate new opportunities as they arise,” Munzer said, “but will try to always support our existing members as their businesses expand and grow.”
Are you looking at opportunities in a new state? Please let us know, and we’ll do our best to assist you.