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Invitation to Banks & Family Office/Ultra-high Net Worth Investors Exploring Cannabis Lending to Join Our Informal Institutional Cannabis Lenders Community

An update on the latest developments in the cannabis banking/lending space by subject matter expert, BMD Scottsdale/Phoenix Office Managing Partner Stephen Lenn

Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Explosive Growth in Pot of Gold Opportunity for Bank (and Other) Cannabis Lenders Driving Erosion of the Barriers

Our original article on bank lending to the cannabis industry anticipated that the convergence of interest between banks and the cannabis industry would draw more and larger banks to the industry. Banks were awash in liquidity with limited deployment options, while bankable cannabis businesses had rapidly growing needs for more and lower cost credit. Since then, the pot of gold opportunity for banks to lend into the cannabis industry has grown exponentially due to a combination of market constraints on equity causing a dramatic shift to debt and the ever-increasing capital needs of one of the country’s fastest growing industries. At the same time, hurdles to entry of new banks are being systematically cleared as the yellow brick road to the cannabis industry’s access to the financial markets is being paved, brick by brick, by the progressively increasing number and size of banks that are now entering the market.

Banking and Cannabis: Is it Legal

Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal under federal law. However, I am not aware of any federal banking law or regulation, or any other federal law or regulation, which explicitly makes it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to provide their traditional services to state legal cannabis businesses.