The marijuana industry is largely a cash-only industry. This is due to the fact that so many banks won’t work with marijuana businesses. Some banks won’t do it because they don’t want to touch the industry, while many others don’t do it because the amount of hoops they have to jump through just aren’t worth it. Large amounts of cash, in any industry, can create a lot of public safety and logistical issues.
Because marijuana businesses are often forced to be ‘cash only,’ they often pay their taxes in cash as well. That’s something that Oregon regulators are preparing for as the framework for the recreational marijuana industry gets established. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
About 30% of existing medical marijuana businesses in the state pay their tax bills with cash thanks to a lack of banking options, creating security and public safety issues, Steven Marks, the executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, told The Oregonian.
Aside from adding a specific line for cannabis businesses at its offices, the commission also will spend more than $600,000 to upgrade its entry to handle the influx of marijuana companies bringing in large amounts of cash. Additionally, it’s considering opening a southern Oregon facility so companies in the area don’t have to drive to Portland with large sums of cash in their vehicles, the newspaper reported.
The availability of banking, or the lack thereof, has been an ongoing issue for many cannabis business owners.
Oregon is not along when it comes to marijuana banking issues. Every state that has legal marijuana businesses operating is experiencing the same thing. The feds need to step up, and put out fair, clear banking rules for the marijuana industry. To say that it is overdue is a huge understatement.