Event Details

Still have questions after the webinar? Please direct all related inquiries to cannabislaw@bmdllc.com. A recording will be available 24 hours after the webinar on this webpage.

For more information on the importance of banking and cannabis, click here for a compilation of related materials.


Banks need loans - and cannabis businesses, which are rapidly emerging as attractive bank clients, need access to the lower-cost lending banks provide to other borrowers.

On Tuesday, September 21, join BMD's Banking and Cannabis Partner Stephen Lenn, along with Tanner Daniel of the American Bankers Association, the Arizona Bankers Association, Colorado Bankers Association and the Ohio Banker's League for the live webinar Banking & Cannabis: The Next Frontier." The RingCentral webinar will take place from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM CT (2 PM ET, 11 AM PT).

Over the past several years a small, but growing number of banks have begun accepting cannabis business deposits. While banks need loans and cannabis businesses need the kind of lower-cost financing banks provide other businesses, bank lending to cannabis businesses has been slower to emerge. As cannabis businesses become more bankable, this represents a substantial financial opportunity for both industries with bottom line implications for each measured in the hundreds of millions. Consequently, although the disconnect between state legal cannabis and federal law has been and continues to be an impediment, the number of banks willing to consider lending seems to be increasing at an accelerated rate.

Processes and protocols for depository services have evolved, mostly relying on the FinCEN Guidance issued in 2014. The webinar will explore issues related to cannabis and banking, with a particular emphasis on lending, and its cross-section of experts will weigh in on the current state of play and what the future may hold.

Panel Discussion Topics

  • Banking and cannabis industry panelists will describe the current banking environment for marijuana-related businesses, including depository, lending, and payment services;
  • The business and competitive impact resulting from lack of banking services including pain points reverberating beyond both the cannabis and banking industries;
  • Considerations unique to lending; challenges and approaches for handling the key issues of security interests;
  • How current legislative and regulatory proposals could transform the environment.

Plus, Banking & Cannabis Regulators Weigh In

The webinar will include the perspective of bankers regarding their experience in getting into banking for the cannabis business, services they currently provide or plan to provide to marijuana-related businesses, navigating the FinCEN guidance for both deposits and lending, as well as electronic payment systems, and legislative or regulatory changes (federal and state) that would promote bank participation in the cannabis industry.

  • Insights on cannabis industry debt finance generally and bank lending in particular;
  • Existing approaches to collateral in general and, specifically, security interests in cannabis licenses;
  • How security interests in cannabis licenses might be alternatively handled, adapted or improved, perhaps based on models from other regulated industries (e.g., nursing home certificates and FCC or liquor licenses);
  • If and how they will treat deposit and lending services differently;
  • How and the extent to which regulators (including federal) are already exercising oversight of banks serving marijuana-related businesses, and different approaches to safety and risk-management depending on the type of banking service or product.

Panelists

Keynote Speaker: Tanner Daniel, VP of Congressional Affairs, American Bankers Association

  • Tanner Daniel is vice president for congressional affairs at the American Bankers Association (ABA), the united voice for the nation’s banks in Washington DC. He is responsible for political strategy and managing strategic relationships with key democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
  • Prior to ABA, Tanner worked on Capitol Hill serving as senior legislative assistant for House Financial Services Committee member, Representative David Scott (D-GA).  His tenure included negotiating and drafting provisions in S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Before that, Tanner was a policy advisor within the Capital Markets Initiative team at the centrist think tank Third Way and worked for Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA) and John Delaney (D-MD).  He is a proud graduate of the University of Richmond (BA) and George Washington University (MPP). 

Moderator: Stephen Lenn, Banking and Cannabis Partner, Brennan, Manna & Diamond

  • After more than 40 years practicing in corporate finance and merger and acquisition matters, primarily with large law firms and for large companies, Steve joined Brennan, Manna & Diamond to further his objective of offering the value embedded in the experience, skills, contacts and relationships developed representing both large institutional and entrepreneurial clients with the personal attention, agility and flexibility of a boutique.

Kevin Allard, Ohio Department of Commerce, Superintendent of Banks

  • Kevin R. Allard was named the superintendent of the Division of Financial Institutions in March 2017. Prior to being named Superintendent, Allard served as Deputy Superintendent for Banks and as Deputy Superintendent for Savings and Loan Associations and Savings Banks since February 2011.

  • Previously, Kevin served as Chief Examiner for the Banks and Savings Institutions section of the Division, and he has been involved in the supervision and regulation of state-chartered banks and savings institutions for over 27 years.

Ashley Burt, The Gunnison Bank & Trust Company, President & CEO

  • Ashley Burt is President and CEO of The Gunnison Bank and Trust Company. He has been with the bank for 25 years and served in the role of President for the last 17 years. He spends time in the main office in Gunnison, in the branch in Crested Butte, and the Loan Production Office in the Denver Tech Center.
  • Ashley has served as a director for The Colorado Division of Banking, Independent Bankers of Colorado, was Chairman of Colorado College Invest, and served two terms on the Kansas City Federal Reserve, Denver Branch.
  • Ashley spearheaded the development of the bank’s MRB program in 2009. The program is now in its 13th year.

Shane Foster, Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, Deputy Director of Financial Institutions

  • Deputy Director Shane Foster joined the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (“DIFI”) in November 2020. Before joining DIFI, he served as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Consumer Protection & Advocacy Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. In this role, Mr. Foster participated in several high-profile matters, including Arizona’s consumer fraud lawsuits against JUUL, Eonsmoke, CashCall, and Mercedes-Benz, handled data privacy matters, and played a significant role in the administration of Arizona’s FinTech Sandbox. Prior to being promoted to Senior Litigation Counsel, he served as an Assistant Attorney General in the State Government Division. 

  • Deputy Director Foster began his legal career as a transactional attorney in New York and has extensive experience in the mortgage industry. Deputy Director Foster earned a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

Will Humble, Arizona Department of Health Services, Former Executive Director

  • Will Humble is the Executive Director for the Arizona Public Health Association. His 30 years in public health included more than 2 decades at the Arizona Department of Health Services, where he served in various capacities including as the Agency Director from 2009 to 2015. Most recently, he served as a health policy director at the University of Arizona from 2015 to 2017. He continues to be involved in health policy in his role with AzPHA and as Adjunct Faculty with The University of Arizona's Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. 

  • He received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Northern Arizona University, a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Arizona State University, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Arizona in 2015 for his career commitment to engaging partnerships between academic and executive public health. 

  • Will is a big believer in using evidence-based health policy as a means to improving health outcomes and in leading and managing with emotional intelligence. 

Greg McIlvaine, Ohio Department of Commerce, Senior Policy Advisor

  • Greg McIlvaine was appointed Senior Policy Advisor for the Ohio Department of Commerce in June 2019 to oversee the Medical Marijuana Control Program. Throughout his career, McIlvaine has served in various leadership and policy roles on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Prior to joining Commerce, he served as vice president and advocacy director of Mindset (formerly The Cypress Group), which is a strategic advisory and advocacy firm, where he advised on financial services, budget, and tax issues, and worked together with policymakers and industry stakeholders to address policy challenges and implement solutions. McIlvaine also served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Mike DeWine and Congressman Zach Wamp, where he helped manage appropriations project requests and advised on budget and financial services policy. McIlvaine received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and his bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Frank Smith, Republic Bank of Arizona, SVP, Deposit Operations Administrator

  • Frank joined Republic Bank of Arizona ("RBAZ") in January 2020 as vice president of operations. His depth of knowledge and experience in the operations, compliance and risk management side of banking are valuable assets to the bank. Having worked for several regional and community banks in the Valley, his range of experience includes IT, fraud prevention, risk management, Bank Secrecy Act activities, and other general operations responsibilities.
  • One of the more fascinating and unique areas of banking that Frank has developed a keen specialty in is marijuana-related business (MRB) banking. Prior to joining RBAZ, Frank developed the MRB banking program for another local community bank.

Mark Steinmetz, AMMA Investment Group, Founder and Former CEO of Nature's Medicines

  • For the past eight years, Mark Steinmetz has devoted his full-time efforts to winning and operating Licensed Medical Marijuana dispensaries, Infusion, and cultivation licenses. Mark has served as Owner/Operator of Sixth Street Enterprises, Inc., PA Natural Medicines, LLC, Maryland Health Management, LLC, DBA Nature’s Medicines dispensaries, and AMMA Investment Group, LLC. In total, Mark has managed thirteen (13) licensed dispensaries and four cultivation/infusion facilities through AMMA Management, LLC, a company he formed in 2012, devoted to the management of cultivation, processing, and dispensing state regulated medical cannabis. Mark now owns a principal stake in Devi Holdings, Inc. featuring the largest producing cannabis cultivation operation in the State of Arizona. This organic, high-tech, light deprivation greenhouse complex is located upon 17 acres in Amado, AZ. AMMA Management operates an indoor cultivation/infusion company in Phoenix and manages 16 dispensaries and two other cultivation/processing facilities in eight states. Mark and his business partners have won several dispensary and cultivation licenses throughout the U.S. including, most recently, Illinois and Georgia.

Steve White, CEO of Harvest

  • Steve co-founded Harvest in 2011. After opening Harvest’s first dispensary in 2013, Steve worked there for several months fulfilling orders, performing reception duties, and consulting with patients. He quickly learned that he had the ability to help shape a company that gave people control over an aspect of their life where they previously had very little – their health and wellness. This led Steve to instill a culture of education and empowerment at Harvest to provide patients much needed products, resources, and support. For example, Harvest facilities host a new patient orientation and monthly support group meetings for epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer, and PTSD. Under Steve’s direction, Harvest has also engaged in many community activities and events, including donating more than $500,000 to local charitable organizations, veterans, seniors, and patients in need. Steve founded and now serves on the board of directors for Harvesting Hope, a non-profit organization that supports young children suffering from seizure disorders. To date, Harvesting Hope has provided a wide range of services for over 100 families.
  • As Harvest’s CEO, Steve is responsible for license acquisition, start-up, operations, and organizational direction and strategy. He has also been instrumental in navigating state- and county-level regulatory audits, including, to date, hundreds of state inspections across multiple states, four Americans for Safe Access Patient Focused Certifications, and more than fifty certified financial audits. He is also a board member and President of the Arizona Dispensary Association. In addition, he has done hundreds of interviews, speaking engagements, and has been qualified to provide expert testimony on a multitude of marijuana-related topics.

Still have questions? Please direct all inquiries to cannabislaw@bmdllc.com. A recording of the webinar will be available 24 hours after the session on this webpage.

This program is presented for educational purposes only. Each financial institution is encouraged to establish appropriate policies and procedures reasonably necessary to enable them to (1) identify clients and potential clients that may be considered marijuana-related businesses, and (2) if they determine to provide services, do so in a manner that complies with guidance on avoiding violation of bank secrecy and anti-money laundering laws and with full advance consultation with their regulators.