Friday, July 16, 2010

Banks bid buds goodbye

Posted by on Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Today, the Colorado Springs Business Journal reported on a topic frustrating for the MMJ industry that we've touched on before: banks don't want bud business.

Here's what we wrote in June 10's "CannaBiz" regarding TCF Bank:

TCF.gif

After perusing TCF Bank's website, it would be easy to assume the Minneapolis-based lender welcomes all comers: "As a result of TCF's community banking philosophy, we market our products and services to everyone in the communities we serve."

But unless the bank's talking about advertising, this statement is a lie.

As explained in a letter dated May 26, 2010, and sent to roughly 80 local MMJ-affiliated bank members (according to Tanya Garduno of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council): "TCF will no longer offer or maintain accounts for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and other similar lines of business.

The Business Journal's story follows a similar arc, detailing the efforts of center owners like K.C. Stark from Go Green Cross to find a bank who likes them back.

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“Who knows what’s going on? One week, it’s fine to do business with them, the next week it isn’t,” he said. “It’s unprecedented.”

Stark said he feels the banks are discriminating against medical marijuana providers.

“It’s a constant struggle,” he said. “We’ve tried Wells Fargo; we’ve tried the Bank of Broadmoor.”

Not only are they rejecting new account applications, but the banks are also closing the accounts of any customers whom they discover are in the medical marijuana business.

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