More and more states have been legalizing marijuana someway, somehow, and as a result, the cannabis industry continues to grow. The industry as a whole already generates billion of dollars annually, but cannabis entrepreneurs are still having a hard time when it comes to finding a store and managing their incoming cash flows.
Because pot is still illegal on a federal level, banks regulated by the federal government are not very willing to cooperate with owners of any businesses that personally handle cannabis. Bloomberg has reported that the answer to this dilemma lies within the form of a banking system run by the 560 American Indian nations residing in the United States. The Bloomberg article focuses on Anthony Rivera, a Harvard grad currently leading California’s Acjachemen Nation – a tribe who would like other tribes to legalize marijuana and use their experience from years of running casinos so that they may start their own banking system that could help the growing marijuana industry.
Here’s what Anthony Rivera had to say: “The Indian casinos are basically small little banks. They receive deposits in the form of gaming, and they manage that cash in a way which is highly regulated with commissioners and regulators.”
Rivera is the leader of CannaNative, an organization whose main goal is to link all leaders of the tribal nations with marijuana entrepreneurs because of their ability to establish their own regulated markets. In addition to just marijuana entrepreneurs, he would like to bring in financial professionals in order to find a banking system that would benefit the members of the cannabis industry.
The lack of banking options for marijuana businesses makes it extremely difficult for owners to find a way to manage their cash flow, which has generated issues in security and payment processes. The industry is projected to reach $10 billion by 2018, according to ArcView Group, a research firm. In addition, more states are expected to legalize marijuana, so banking issues are only going to need to be resolved sooner.
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