Last Bank Shuts Its Doors On Pot Dispensaries In Colorado

Last Bank Shuts Its Doors On Pot Dispensaries In Colorado

10/19/2011

 

At a medical-marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs, there is still the usual collection of marijuana and cannabis-infused sweets

However, beginning today, the owner will also need to have a bigger safe on the premises.

On Friday, Colorado Springs State Bank, which is the last bank in Colorado to provide services with the medical-marijuana industry, officially closed down several accounts owned by dispensaries and others legal marijuana businesses in the state over concerns regarding working with companies which are, by definition, breaking federal laws.

Robert Frichtel, a consultant who operates the Medical Marijuana Business Exchange, puts the number of accounts being held by the bank at around 300.

This development, which is the latest in a series of troubles that medical-marijuana businesses have had in looking for banks to work with, has sent the industry into a familiar scramble to find a place to park its money.

The difference this time is that no clear solution has presented itself, making Frichtel and others to conclude that the industry is in for a protracted period of operating on a cash-only basis.

“My clients are in a panic state over how they are going to survive in an all-cash environment,” said Frichtel.

This is where the really big safe comes into the picture.

The Colorado Springs dispensary owner, who did not want his name used for fear of enticing thieves, said that he will have to put his money within his store’s premises instead of depositing it into a bank.

“Any way you plan it out, there’s going to be a large amount of cash around. And that’s extremely scary,” the owner said.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com