Credit Union Services for Cannabis

Why bank cannabis at my credit union?

  • Provide banking services to a budding & underserved market
  • Increase fee income through a new revenue source
  • Turn your compliance department into a profit center
  • Increase the dividend return to your credit union’s members
  • Supplement low interest rates with a new revenue channel
  • Increase memberships from new, non-traditional demographics

Benefits to Cannabis Banking

  • Increased Fee Revenue – In these times with the pandemic caused job loses, bankruptcies and financial uncertainty, the cannabis industry has remained strong and even thrived. As we come out of the pandemic, we will learn what will become the new normal. This may have a significant impact on traditional business lines and revenue. With limited banking options, these businesses are willing to pay the fees necessary to compensate for the additional complexity and risk associated with cannabis banking.
  • Increased Deposits – While many CU’s do not currently need deposits, once the lockdowns are lifted and members begin to spend money again, the current artificially high deposits will quickly run off. Cannabis deposits have consistently grown as the industry has matured.
  • Turns Compliance into a profit center – No one has ever imagined a compliance department as anything other than a cost center, and historically that is what they have been. Cannabis banking changes that, cannabis banking is a master class in compliance and that is where the business is housed. The compliance expertise gained can be used as a springboard to venture into other higher risk industries such as non-profits or money service businesses.
  • Community Safety – Credit Unions are all about serving and protecting their community. The cannabis industry remains a cash-based industry, unfortunately with cash also comes crime. Without banking, cannabis businesses are forced to carry around bags of cash to pay their rent, taxes and other traditional business expenses. Giving them a banking option takes this money off the street and puts it in the CU where it belongs.
  • Supports Law Enforcement – This is an odd one! By banking cannabis and performing the required compliance, the CU is providing law enforcement with valuable records that wouldn’t otherwise exist in a cash-based business. The CU keeping law enforcement abreast of the members business activities and alerting them of suspicious activities.
  • Membership Diversity – While it is great to mingle with the long-time members at the annual meeting, it is a reminder that your membership demographics are greying. Cannabis businesses are quickly becoming one of the largest employment sectors. These employees are typically young and have a difficult time finding banking options. Let me tell you they will change the shade of blue at the annual meeting.
  • Underserved Industry – Credit Unions are all about serving the underserved. This is the ultimate in underserved industries. By giving them an opportunity, they reward you with loyalty.

Payment Systems

Gleam Law lawyers are leaders and well-versed in the legal issues involved in ach transactions, wire transfers, electronic check conversions, check 21, and paper checks.

Gleam Law helps you understand and work within the rules of uniform commercial code (ucc) articles 3, 4, and 4a, the federal reserve check processing regulations and operating circulars, ach rules, and other applicable law. Our legal team’s experience and knowledge helps you provide the best service to account owners, avoid unnecessary losses, and recover losses when they happen.

Compliance

Financial service providers face many challenges, but one of the biggest is state and federal regulations. The attorneys at Gleam Law advise banks, credit unions, and related financial service providers in state and federal regulatory matters impacting their business, financial product deliver, and operations.

Gleam Law provides comprehensive compliance programs and compliance audits, draft and review consumer documents, prepare policies, and advise clients on a day-to-day basis in deposit accounts, and consumer and real estate lending.

With the help of our banking lawyers, your headaches from regulatory compliance and other legal issues will be a thing of the past.

Vendor Management

More and more financial service providers outsource to third-party providers for technology functions. Many rely on vendors for crucial services like data processing, lending support, voice and data communications, and facilities maintenance. Vendor contracts are a critical part of any business plan, and the management of these contracts is under increased regulatory scrutiny.

The lawyers at Gleam Law will draft, negotiate, and review contracts that protect financial institutions and help maintain solid vendor relationships.

Business & Operations

The legal team at Gleam Law understand your business goals and needs. Because of this, we can help with any of your business and operations concerns. Our experienced attorneys counsel financial service providers in daily operations, deposit account issues, real estate transactions, and a wide range of other business concerns.

Your team at Gleam Law will also assist you with the review and drafting of all contracts, corporate documentation, and trademark and copyright registration. Our lawyers advise on executive compensation, retirement plans, stock option programs, and deferred compensation systems.

BSA Audit

To stay in compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), credit unions are required to conduct independent evaluations. Understanding the requirements of the BSA and how to take action can be difficult for credit unions, but this is where the attorneys at Gleam Law can help.

Our lawyers have years of experience helping credit unions create and put in place policies and procedures to remain in compliance. Our independent review identifies existing weaknesses in a credit union’s program and offers guidance for improvements informed by a thorough report.

Governance

Gleam Law keeps you in compliance by assisting in a wide range of corporate governance matters. These include chartering and bylaw changes, corporate reorganizations, corporate governance policies, advising at board and member and shareholder meetings, corporate governance planning and education.

Legal Help

BSA audits through Gleam Law cover all BSA and OFAC requirements, including:

  • BSA risk assessment
  • BSA staff training
  • CIP/due diligence program
  • Information sharing best practices
  • Internal controls
  • OFAC compliance program
  • Practices relating to the filing of CTRs and SARs
  • Qualifications of the BSA officer
  • Record keeping best practices
Legal Help

Cannabis Banking Services

Are you ready to take the next step toward the future for your credit union? Our cannabis law firm can help you create fully-compliant cannabis credit union services by:

  • Creating board presentations arguing for cannabis banking and cannabis credit union services, including the potential fee structure and earnings
  • Completing a risk assessment, including the legal marijuana industry
  • Implementing cannabis banking policies and procedures, both compliance and operational
  • Developing a process for initial and ongoing due diligence
  • Creating member agreements and legal marijuana-related disclosures
  • Conducting on-site training for staff in cannabis banking
  • Being on call when state or federal regulators come knocking
  • Speeding up the implementation time and establishing more services for your members faster

As a comprehensive cannabis law firm, we created a cannabis credit union services program designed to be there when you need us. If you’re interested in learning more and beginning to build a cannabis-friendly credit union, now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity.

    Cannabis Law Firm

    • Washington
    • Oregon
    • California
    • Portland

    We would love to talk with you about your unique situation.