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Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

Client Alert

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley National Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Meyer, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry. To me, this reflects a sharp contrast with other announced bank loans to the industry, in which the lending banks were neither identified nor quoted, presumably by their choice.

Those who have followed my blogs and articles, or have attended conferences at which I’ve spoken, are aware of the 2 consistent and integrally related threads: “follow the money” and “out of the shadows and into the mainstream.” My April 2022 blog regarding the $48 million commercial bank loan to Fluresh, noted:

“For the industry, it reflects its inexorable movement out of the shadows and into the mainstream. This substantiates the view that, whether or not any of pending the federal legislation is enacted, bank lending to the cannabis industry will continue to accelerate.

While a number of mega banks are stubborn holdouts, and whether or not there is a formal change in bank law or regulation, this transaction is further evidence supporting the belief that more and larger banks are entering and will continue to enter the market. Each one that does both paves the way for and draws others in.

Of equal, or perhaps greater significance to the industry than the direct impact on increased access and cheaper money on the operating results, are the intangible, “out of the shadows” implications of these trends in the ongoing process of propelling it “into the mainstream,” the potential significance of which likely extends far beyond banking.”

The fact that Valley National Bank was willing to be identified and provide a quote in this case is another major step in this direction.

For questions, please contact Business and Corporate Law Member and Managing Partner of BMD’s Phoenix/Scottsdale location Stephen Lenn at salenn@bmdllc.com, or 602.796.9647. Stephen speaks regularly at legal and cannabis industry events. You can find out about his upcoming presentations at the Kahner Global Cannabis Investing Summit on February 27 and at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference April 11 and 12.


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