Recent estimates by Barclays suggest the U.S. cannabis market — were it legal today — would be worth nearly $30 billion in annual sales and primed to grow by an additional $10 billion in the next decade.
As of July 2019, 11 states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, 12 allow medical use and have decriminalized recreational use (though this designation bans its sale), and 10 only allow medical use; however, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. As such, businesses that serve this market — often referred to as “cannabusinesses” — are often excluded from the mainstream financial system.
According to FinCEN’s Marijuana Banking Update, 140 credit unions provided services to marijuana-related businesses as of March 2019. That’s an increase of 111 cooperatives year-over-year.
Washington state legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2012, and state-based credit unions, including Numerica ($2.3B, Spokane Valley, WA), saw the need to provide safe and secure services to these businesses.
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