CU 1 extends financial services to pot businesses

The pilot program hopes to reduce cash handling for the growing number of marijuana growers and sellers in Alaska.

An Alaska credit union has launched a pilot program to provide financial services to marijuana businesses, which among other benefits will relieve state workers from counting $1.5 million in cash tax payments each month.

James Wileman, President/CEO of Credit Union 1 ($1 billion in assets, 84,064 members) said the decision fits with its history of serving the underserved, and will relieve the state’s businesses and agencies from the burdens of handling too much cash.

Alaskans voted to legalize marijuana in 2014, the first licenses were granted in 2016 and marijuana retail sales are on-track to reach $200 million in 2018.

Alaska’s Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office has licensed 262 businesses from the Alaska Bud Brothers Aerogardens in Kasilof to the Zenzic Gardens in Palmer. About 150 other businesses are awaiting approval.


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