Declining asset values could seem like a good thing. After all, who wants to admit to having money in a bank that’s losing money? However, while this decline may only be a symptom of the industry’s larger problems, it’s not a good thing. Even in the U.S., which accounts for roughly half of global cannabis industry revenue, banks continue to be reluctant to work with cannabis businesses, arguing that they don’t want to get involved in illegal activity. And as the industry’s finance woes continue to plague it, they’re also making it difficult for banks to find new business to replace the over $6 billion in cannabis industry assets they’ve foreclosed on (
The Black Market isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s growing, as evidenced by the spate of dispensary robberies. But this isn’t a Ferguson situation, and the Marijuana Justice campaign isn’t inciting riots or rioting. It’s just a group of concerned citizens that agree that more needs to be done to protect our citizens from the violence of the black market.
The news of this year’s dispensary dispensary crime wave is nothing if not alarming. From a variety of sources, we’ve heard that a number of groups of would-be robbers have been targeting dispensaries, and it’s been a harrowing experience for dispensary owners. But the bigger question is: where are these robbers getting their drugs?. Read more about safe banking act and let us know what you think.
Although most states have legalized cannabis in some form, it is still illegal at the federal level. For example, many banks, credit unions and lenders refuse to do business with licensed cannabis businesses for fear of retaliation from federal regulators.
In response, lawmakers introduced the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act, which would prevent federal banking regulators from interfering with financial institutions’ ability to do business with cannabis companies and related brands that serve the industry. In recent years, lawmakers have tried to pass different versions of the SAFE Banking Act. In April 2021, the latest version was approved by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. It must now be approved by the Senate before being signed by President Biden.
But until the SAFE Banking Act is in place, many cannabis businesses and their employees will not have easy access to banking services and will have to rely on cash, leaving them vulnerable to a variety of crimes.
Small enterprises are most at risk
While large multistate operators (MSOs) and other major players can afford to take serious security measures, such. B. armored money trucks and armed guards to protect their stores, small stores cannot afford such protection. Without access to traditional trade credit, some retailers are unable to recover losses due to theft and burglary.
Although the clinic is a bank, it cannot legally accept credit or debit cards as a means of payment, and therefore must accept cash only. Combined with the fact that bad actors can resell their products at much higher prices on the illegal market in illegal states, pharmacies are an easy and obvious target.
Objects of violence
The ever-increasing number of violent incidents has sparked new discussions about whether cannabis shops should allow their employees to carry guns. Proponents of this additional protection point to the daily threats that pharmacy workers face.
Cameron Smith, a drug dealer at Lucid Cannabis in Cheney, Washington, was shot and killed by a customer when Smith refused to serve him because he could not properly identify himself, which is a requirement to purchase legal cannabis.
In another incident, in late 2020, Michael Arthur, a bather who worked at Cured Green, a legal marijuana dispensary in Oregon, was killed by armed intruders. His death came amid a series of armed robberies of cannabinoid dispensaries in Portland. There have been about two burglaries a week in Portland since the pandemic began, and countless other burglaries take place in the United States every week.
Earlier this year in Oklahoma, an armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by an employee of a Higher Choice Pharmacy. Had the officer not been armed, his story could have ended tragically, like so many others before him. However, federal law prohibits cannabis patients from purchasing or possessing firearms, which poses another barrier to retailers’ ability to protect their employees and their businesses.
These are just a few examples of the crimes that cannabis businesses across the U.S. must eradicate without having the additional resources, or even the same resources, that legal businesses outside the industry use every day. Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational weed, collects $32,383,094 in taxes and fees in 2020 alone, but states still do not protect these workers.
Access to banking services can help
A simple solution to this major threat to public safety would be to allow marijuana businesses access to banking services like any other legal and legitimate business, by passing the SAFE Banking Act. Until then, cannabis companies will have to find alternatives. Contrary to popular belief, many banks will serve the sector – 15 of the 8,200 federally registered banks and 169 credit unions offered banking services to marijuana-related businesses by the end of 2020.
Some ancillary companies, like Wurk, can make banking and cash flow easier for cannabis businesses by allowing them to pay their employees via direct deposit instead of sending them home with piles of cash. Another benefit is that businesses can pay payroll taxes electronically, avoiding the additional costs associated with cash payments to tax authorities, such as. B. Rent an armored car to transport the money. Working with a provider like Wurk who focuses on compliance is essential for businesses fortunate enough to receive banking services in advance of the Secure Banking Act.
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