What You’ll Learn
- How getting an account with a cannabis-friendly credit union or bank will make your life easier and help you build healthy credit.
- Find out where cannabis industry employees can find dependable banking services.
If you work in the cannabis industry, you’ve probably heard the stories. Someone who works in cannabis gets their account at a big national bank frozen or closed. Even as recreational cannabis has been legalized in more and more states, it can be a challenge for people in the legal cannabis industry to get even the most basic banking services—which leads to many people not having a bank account at all.
In this article, we’ll look at the real-life benefits of having a dependable bank account. We’ll also share how you can get banking and financing services if you work in the cannabis industry.
The Backstory: Why Most Banks Won’t Serve the Cannabis Industry
The short answer is this: although cannabis is legal in 22 states (as of this writing), it’s still illegal at the federal level. So, there’s a gray area between federal and state law. This gray area scares away big national banks from serving the cannabis industry. They don’t want the risk—or the cost of taking on the added compliance burdens that come with serving cannabis businesses and employees.
As a result, people who work in cannabis (and even companies that provide services to cannabis businesses) still face challenges getting even the most basic checking and savings account. The good news is some credit unions (and a few banks) have found a way to serve cannabis businesses and their employees. Salal Credit Union is one of those financial institutions. Go us!
Five Benefits of Having a Dependable Bank Account
But why is it so important for people working in the cannabis industry to have access to dependable banking and financing solutions? Let us break it down for you:
Keeping You and Your Earnings Secure
First and foremost, cannabis workers need a reliable and secure place to store their earnings. With cash still being the primary form of payment in the cannabis industry, keeping large sums of paper dollars at home or in your pocket can be risky and make you a target for theft. Cannabis-friendly credit unions and banks offer a safe and secure way to store earnings, reducing the risks from carrying large amounts of cash. Plus, your deposits as an individual are insured up to $250,000 by either the NCUA (or FDIC if you’re at a for-profit bank). Learn more about NCUA deposit insurance.
Access to Banking Services Beyond Checking
It makes no difference if you’re a company CEO or a part-time budtender; everyone in the industry has challenges when it comes to finding dependable financing. This makes it hard for them to do things like buy a car or a house—or even just get a credit card.
Building a Good Credit History
We didn’t make up the rules, we just gotta play by them. The reality is, if you don’t have a credit history it’s harder to get any of those things we just mentioned above (car, house, credit card). A bank account can help you establish a credit history, which lenders will consider when deciding whether to lend you money or not. Having bad credit or no credit history can even lead to your car insurance costing more each month—even if you have a solid driving record.
Everyday Life is Just Easier (and Faster)
Convenience is key when it comes to managing your finances. A checking account with a digital app (pretty much every credit union has one these days) lets you do your banking from anywhere (or at least anywhere you can get a cell signal). Purchases, deposits, withdrawals, bill payments, sending money to friends, shopping online—it’s all fast and easy. And if you ever do need cash, you can always hit an ATM or swing by a branch.
It’s also easier to watch your budget when you have a checking account. You can use digital banking features to easily track your spending and see where your money is going. And with custom alerts sent right to your phone, you can even have the robots help you keep tabs on your money. With Salal’s Mobile and Online Banking, for example, you can set custom alerts that will ping you when your account balance goes below a certain amount or your card is used for an online purchase.
Having a Bank Account Can Save You Money
Going unbanked often means relying on expensive alternative financial services such as payday lenders or check-cashing stores This can lead to you having to pay high fees and falling into a cycle of debt. When you have a checking account with direct deposit, you get your paycheck faster and don’t have to pay a check-cashing fee just to get your money.
Looking for a Bank Account?
Find out more about exclusive banking benefits available to you as a cannabis industry professional.