West Town Bank & Trust has launched its dedicated cannabis banking program. The program provides the cannabis industry with secure financial tools, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and reduce the risks associated with operating a cash-intensive business.
Due to federal regulations, cannabis businesses currently have difficulties accessing reliable financial products, forcing many businesses to operate without bank accounts or electronic payments. Others go to third-party intermediaries who partner with FDIC-insured banks behind closed doors. The lack of dependable financial services stunts the industry's potential for growth, profitability, and increased consumer trust.
"As one of the first banks to roll out a hemp banking program after the 2018 Farm Bill, we witnessed first-hand the role dedicated banking programs played in advancing the entire industry," said Ross Sloan, West Town Bank & Trust Senior Vice President of Hemp & Cannabis Banking, "We're excited to do the same for cannabis businesses, offering them the banking services they need to fuel not only their growth, but the growth of the entire cannabis industry."
The banking program at West Town Bank & Trust offers financial service products to cannabis businesses and their ancillary partners. Cannabis businesses will have access to business checking accounts, electronic payment options, and more. With an in-house team entirely comprised of Certified Cannabis Bankers, regulatory compliance is a key cornerstone of the Bank's cannabis banking program.
Mel Barnes, Hemp & Cannabis Program Director at West Town Bank & Trust, said the bank's existing framework and track record in the hemp space will raise the standard for cannabis financial services, "Legal cannabis businesses should be able to access the same financial services as other industries. Using our in-house industry expertise, along with leveraging technology partners such as RiskScout, we've built a robust online onboarding and due diligence infrastructure that allows customers to access the services they need while feeling secure in their financial partner. This same infrastructure provided the opportunity to effectively scale our hemp program and we are excited to have the support from our Board of Directors and Executive Management Team to make a full commitment to serve the cannabis market."