ARVADA, Colo.–Partner Colorado Credit Union, its subsidiary that offers services to the marijuana industry, and CEO Sundie Seefried have been featured in a lengthy New York Times profile.
Headlined, “Where Pot Entrepreneurs Go When the Banks Just Say No,” the story’s sub-headline explains, “As the legal markets for marijuana spread, a small credit union is solving a big problem: what to do with all the cash.”
Partner Colorado’s pioneering Safe Harbor Banking program has been featured in CUToday.info several times, and the New York Times profile details how most banks are unwilling to deal with any of the mountains of cash generated by cannabis businesses in the Rocky Mountain State, as marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
The report begins and ends by telling the story of one cannabis business as it attempts to deal with all that cash–its accounts were closed by Wells Fargo and Chase–and finally turns to PCCU’s Safe Harbor Banking, including all the compliance demands made by the credit union.
Seefried shares the story of how the credit union’s unique service has come about, noting its marijuana industry clients deposited $931-million with Partner Colorado during 2017.
One analyst told the Times the figure is likely the largest amount taken in from marijuana businesses by any U.S financial institution.
The credit union’s rationale, that it is taking money off the street and helping remove the threats of robberies, is shared in the report, as is the “sophisticated processes” and compliance Partners Colorado has put in place to deal with the industry.
“Seefried’s bankers delve deeply into nearly every aspect of their clients’ finances and operations,” the New York Times reports, quoting Seefried as saying, “I said it in every interview in the beginning: ‘You have to understand: We’re going to be the nosiest banker you ever had.’”
The Times report goes on to add, “Seefried has concluded that, for the moment at least, her chances of facing prosecution are small — ‘less than 20%,’ she says.”
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