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Andrew Bigart published "Banking Challenges and Opportunities" in Marijuana Ventures on October 27, 2017. Here is an excerpt.

One of the biggest challenges for marijuana-related businesses is obtaining access to banking and other financial services. As long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, many banks, credit unions, lenders and other financial institutions will continue to remain wary of the industry, no matter how many states legalize the sale and use of marijuana.

There may, however, be hope on the horizon. As of March 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reports that 368 banks and credit unions are providing services to marijuana-related businesses, undoubtedly a positive, if still nascent, development for dispensaries and other licensed marijuana businesses. For this growth to continue, financial institutions and the marijuana industry need to work together to ensure that financial services are provided to, and used by, businesses in a responsible, safe and sound manner.