California Asks Carriers to Cover Cannabis
As a $multi-billion business nationwide, the cannabis / banking conundrum bedevils industry professionals and regulators alike.
Perhaps most simply put, cannabis is illegal on the federal level and banks - whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company - will not (for the most part) accept cannabis-derived funds, even if those funds are generated in a state where cannabis is legal.
UPDATE: Here's an even more recent example of banks-against-cannabis.
One of the biggest challenges to cannabis businesses of this cannabis banking/ financing issue is the much higher cost of managing payments and cash. The COST of the security apparatus required to manage large amounts of cash dwarfs the cost of normal business banking.
Another added cost to a cannabis business is insurance.
"Generally speaking, cannabis businesses that do have insurance have been getting so-called surplus line insurance, meant to cover risks that are too high for a traditional insurance company to take on. Surplus line policies almost always tend to be more expensive and have stricter requirements than licenses carriers in most cases."
According to this article in Leafly, "California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants to change that."
Image source: Rich Pedroncelli/AP