By Thomas E Gavin IV, CEO, CannaTrac
The cannabis industry has never stopped evolving as state-by-state adult-use legalization has taken place at a breakneck pace; however, common business tools such as banking solutions still remain elusive for many canna-businesses. In fact, the slow rate of mainstream banking adoption has threatened to slow the progress of legitimizing the cannabis industry, and has actually begun to shove the industry underground as desperate business leaders search for ways to decrease their risk, increase employee and consumer safety, and reduce opportunities for fraud. Unfortunately, a failure to act may have even caused an increase in illicit markets.
This issue is not new, but its importance is more crucial now than ever before. Legalized cannabis has existed for nearly nine years in states like Washington and Colorado. In 2021, the cannabis industry is beginning to burst at its seams and the rally cry grows louder for banking reform. As Bloomberg reported: “[the cannabis industry’s] evolution is being handicapped by a lack of basic banking infrastructure … While logistical issues facing dispensaries are well known, obstacles to setting up the most basic of commercial operations extend far afield, hobbling scores of vendors and service providers who could help the industry emerge from the shadows.” This was reported in 2016. Five years later, the situation is more desperate than before, and this issue remains top of mind.
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