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5 Safe Banking Alternatives For Cannabis Companies

With banks reluctant to work directly with cannabis companies, alternative "banking service solutions" have sprung up to help remedy the industry's cash problem.

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This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every month, staffers at NUG, a vertically integrated cannabis company in California, have to physically transport cash, accompanied by a licensed and armed security guard, via an inconspicuous company vehicle to a Pacific Gas and Electric office -- to pay their utility bill. 

Benjamin Rasmussen | Getty Images

This may sound extreme, but it’s an all-too-common scenario among cannabis entrepreneurs. Despite weed’s legal status in most states and Washington, D.C., most federally insured banks won’t open accounts for marijuana businesses. The reason: fear of criminal or civil liability under federal law, which still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.

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