Working in Cannabis? The Time to Open a Checking Account is Now

4.5 minute read | Jan 31, 2024

Safeguard your money with a checking account, unlock opportunities, and gain access to a full suite of financial services with the support of our cannabis banking experts.

By Amy Ridley, Business Development Manager

Cannabis retail employee in grow houseIt’s easy to be wary of banking when you work in the cannabis industry. The plant is still illegal at the federal level, and conventional banks are constrained by strict regulations and onerous filing requirements that cause many to avoid touching the industry in any capacity. Banks that do accommodate cannabis employees often do so unwittingly, and they can shut down your account or reject a loan at any time if they discover your income comes from cannabis.

This reluctance by banks to handle cannabis industry funds creates financial exclusion, impacting not only business banking but also critical personal financial goals, such as the ability to make a large purchase or own a home.

Fortunately, some financial institutions—like Salal—are cannabis-friendly, have experience navigating the intricate web of restrictions, and are eager to help cannabis professionals maximize their savings potential and manage their finances effectively. The first step is opening a checking account.

Why Cannabis Employees Should Open a Checking Account

Whether you’re a budtender or a CEO, having a reliable checking account is essential for several reasons. The primary reasons are basic yet critical: safety and security. Your money is not insured when dealing with cash transactions. If the cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone for good. Unfortunately, news of thefts, burglaries, and cannabis-related robberies are on the rise, making it very risky to rely solely on cash.

By opening a checking account with a reputable cannabis-friendly institution, your funds are not only safe and secure, but also insured. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insures deposits in credit unions up to $250,000.

Another key reason to open a checking account is that it unlocks the doors to a wide range of financial options and benefits. Once you become a member of a credit union through your checking account, you gain access to a full suite of financial services.

For example, after you open your checking account, you can open a savings account and immediately receive options like overdraft protection and the ability to save for holidays or emergencies. More importantly, having a checking account can significantly enhance your ability to secure credit. Without a checking account, verifying your income as an employee of a cannabis company can be challenging and lead to difficulty in securing conventional banking services like car loans.

Looking to buy a home? While mortgages for cannabis professionals may be complicated, they can be secured, especially when you work with an institution well-versed in cannabis banking. Car loans, credit cards, and personal loans become more accessible when you have a checking account. This is particularly important for unexpected life events, such as car accidents, or when you need a credit card with reasonable interest rates—especially during times when interest rates are high.

Convenience and Accessibility

Checking accounts also offer convenience through accompanying debit cards. Access your funds easily, both locally and when you travel. Credit unions like Salal are part of a co-op and shared branching network, which provides members with access to over 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs at approximately 5,800 branches across the country. Additionally, cash machines at 7-Eleven stores across the nation offer surcharge-free withdrawals for members, making it even more convenient to access your funds.

Credit unions, as not-for-profit financial institutions, understand the importance of convenience, which is why they collaborate to reduce the need for an expensive network of brick-and-mortar branches. This saves you money and ensures that you have access to your cash wherever you go.

Financial Literacy for Cannabis Industry Employees

Opening a checking account is not just about convenience—it’s also about securing your financial future. Cannabis-friendly financial institutions are proud to support professionals in the industry and have programs specifically designed to cater to your needs. Now is the time to put your finances in order as a cannabis professional. Don’t be afraid to embrace the process and seek help when needed.

Here at Salal, we understand that your credit may not be where you want it to be, but we aren’t here to judge. Instead, we’re here to help you create a budget, track your expenses, and prioritize saving and investing. The opportunity to develop healthy financial practices like reducing debt, diversifying investments, and setting realistic financial goals all follow the initial step of opening a checking account.

Whether it’s through financial literacy seminars, lunch and learn virtual sessions, or personalized assistance, we’re committed to providing you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed in your financial journey. Embrace the opportunity to open a checking account and take the first step towards securing your financial future in the cannabis industry.

Reach out today to Salal to open your checking account, start saving money, and access our full suite of banking services. Our financial experts have a wealth of cannabis industry knowledge that can empower you to maximize your financial resources and establish a secure financial future.




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