Colorado’s cannabis industry has had a chief request since marijuana was legalized: Give us access to banks.
But it turns out that hundreds of the state’s pot businesses are already working with financial institutions under the close watch of federal regulators, even though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. As many as 35 banks and credit unions offer services to the state’s $6.5 billion-plus industry, according to the Colorado Bankers Association.
Most financial institutions are secretive about their business relationships with companies that grow and sell marijuana legally, limiting the number of customers they will take on and asking their clients to sign nondisclosure agreements, said Amanda Averch, a spokeswoman for the bankers association.
“They’re serving this business, effectively, anonymously,” she said.
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