In every moment, that you compete, you are faced with reward and expense. The outcome of this process will be either a net positive, zero net sum, or a net deficit. Excluding zero net, the degree of your outcomes is directly influenced by your preparation and the resources you use to deliver your performance.


The purpose for today’s blog is to examine the Cannabis Industry and how it manages their banking and financial activities. From my perspective cannabis business owners are challenged in their management effort while being both frustrated and insulted by State and Federal regulations not respecting their business model as they benefit from the billions of revenue dollars generated each year.


The Seed


So let’s plant several seeds. The first one is what was the State sales tax revenue for cannabis product sales for Colorado in 2015?

According to the Washington post, Feb 12, 2015, “$700 million in sales tax revenue was generate up from $386 million in 2014. The estimate for 2016 is sales tax revenue in excess of $1 billion.”

These sales tax numbers would indicate that gross revenue for cannabis business is more than doubling each year.


Here is the next seed to plant. If someone asks you a question and you are not sure of the answer where is one of the first places you would go to find an answer? “Just Google it” Well if you Google for answer to a question such as, “What is the fast growing industry in the United States?”, you would get an answer. From sources such as INC., Fortune, or perhaps the Washington Post, but the answers would not list a cannabis company, private or public, nor would you find listing under subheading such as privately held or entrepreneurial companies.


So my question is “Why?” Why, according to the Washington Post, is an industry made of many entrepreneurs, 36% of our women owners, who generate billions of dollars of gross taxable revenue are not considering part of economic growth? Could it be because cannabis has a dark and sinister history and the myths create are obstacles to the conservative financial service industry? I thought capitalism was alive and well in the US. I also thought that today’s political debates included the desire to increase business opportunity and grow our economy.




The Trim


So the seeds are planted and certainly the plants are not only growing but creating a bountiful harvest in the form of cash dollars and new business growth. That should mean that the harvest of dollars should represent opportunity for future growth and the development of even better products (trim and blossoms) to meet the growing medical and retail demands of cannabis industry customers.


If you could only see my head tilt and the questioning grimace on my face. So what is reducing the optimism and holding back cannabis business growth, you might ask?


According to ProCon,

“23 states have legislation in place for the legalized sale of cannabis for either medical or retail consumption. Even more interesting is the District of Columbia created their legislation in 2010 it went through a Congressional review with no comments or objection from the Senate or the House.”


That being said, the federal reserve has yet to relax or modify banking regulations in order for cannabis business owners to secure reasonable and customary banking relations.


In simple terms a cannabis business owner is a cash and carry business owner. They are not taking credit or debit card transactions because the sponsoring bank behind the cards may revoke that customers card for buying cannabis. On the cannabis business owner side banks such as Chase, Well Fargo, Bank America, and others are refusing registered and licensed cannabis business owners a banking relationship perhaps because they perceive an increased risk of money laundering or racketeering. My contention is banks and financial institutions should use current checks and balances to qualify the business owner and if they pass let them bank with you.


Finished Goods


Sophie Quinton, who writes for Stateliness, spoke with Tim Cullen, a cannabis business owner in Colorado, about his many trials to establish banking relationship in Colorado. For Tim his frustration may have peaked when his 3 year old sons college fund was closed at Tim’’s personal bank. So I guess the man is watching and they suspected, not confirmed, that Tim’s deposits for his son’s college fund was tainted funds.


I know Tim and his wife they are scientist, they are great parents, and have established themselves as positive contributors to their personal and business communities. How about the banks asking for personal references that are real and sincere rather than closing accounts without confirmation of wrong doing. Honestly I do not want that to happen. So how does the banking industry get over their paranoia?


There are contradiction between what cannabis owners need and the attitude banking professional have toward the cannabis industry, and the first one is Wall Street, Federal Reserve, and the banking industry do not recognize the national collection of cannabis businesses as an industry.


The most beneficial finished good at this time is knowledge. Knowledge about who the legit cannabis business owners are and with this knowledge allow them access to full banking services. Sharing this knowledge will, and has, created respect for the cultural and humanitarian benefits associated with a cannabis industry. Two examples of this are the growing share of women owned cannabis businesses (+36%) and the real positive medical impact the application of cannabinoids is having all over the world.


Anytime the quality of human life can be improved without altering who they are represents an outcome that needs to be promoted.



Discover the details of this evolution in the documentary Mary Janes The Women of Weed. @maryjanesfilm

Reach out to for documentary details.

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