banking services for weed
banking services for weed

Go Ahead and Swipe or Tap Your Card to Pay for Those Pre-Rolls and Gummies - First Citizens Bank Jumps into Marijuana Banking

First Citizens Bank jumps the shark on banking services for the cannabis industry!

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Thursday Feb 29, 2024

banking for cannabis companies

A noteworthy milestone has been reached by First Citizens Bank, the largest bank known to interact with the cannabis sector. First Citizens firm is one of the top 20 largest banks in the United States, with assets over $200 billion. The firm recently announced its foray into the cannabis market.


This action is considered to be a major advancement for the cannabis sector, illustrating its ongoing trend of receiving finance and support from the general population.


In a statement published on the company website on January 12, 2024, First Citizens firm revealed the news. The bank said it planned to expand into the broader cannabis sector using its robust hemp/CBD platform in the remark. With the cannabis sector emerging from the shadows and into the sunlight in reputable business endeavors, the bank's grasp of the industry's bright economic future is demonstrated by this smart decision.


Per the First Citizens Bank website on cannabis and hemp services"

As one of the few hemp- and cannabis-friendly banks of its size in the US, First Citizens has invested heavily in compliance. To reduce the risk of interrupted banking services for its cannabis and hemp industry clients, the bank conducts a thorough vetting process before a client is onboarded. It also conducts periodic reviews to ensure each client is compliant with any new industry regulations.

"Most financial institutions haven't invested in a properly trained cannabis compliance team that's capable of keeping up with the constantly evolving regulatory environment," Palmquest explains.

In addition to improving account stability, the bank's compliance-focused approach enables them to fundamental services like business credit cards, lines of credit, merchant services and equipment financing—essential products that most hemp and cannabis companies struggle to access.


First Citizens Bank's foray into the cannabis market not only validates the financial viability of the industry but also serves as a guiding light for other financial institutions. It is expected that this move will encourage more banks, both large and small, to explore providing services to cannabis enterprises. This forecast aligns with earlier indications from industry pundits, who have suggested that the financial sector would gravitate towards the cannabis market as it continues to expand and integrate further into mainstream commerce.


First Citizens Bank's decision is significant in ways that go well beyond simply giving cannabis companies more access to financial services. It contributes to the further legalization and de-stigmatization of the cannabis business by reflecting a larger cultural and economic shift in attitudes about it. This change is critical to the industry's ongoing efforts to achieve more favorable public perception and regulatory circumstances.


Furthermore, First Citizens Bank's proactive stance is poised to inspire other financial institutions that have hesitated to venture into the cannabis market. The bank's involvement in the Institutional Cannabis Lenders Community (ICLC), a non-profit trade association catering to institutional participants in the cannabis credit markets, underscores its dedication to shaping the landscape of cannabis financing. Through the ICLC, members gain access to shared resources, opportunities, and programming concerning critical issues and emerging best practices in cannabis financing.


This is a very obvious sign of how the cannabis industry is developing and how the banking sector is beginning to welcome more and more cannabis-related businesses. More banks will follow First Citizens Bank's example, and this will lead to more industry access to financial services—a necessity for the sector's continued expansion and advancement.


Breaking Barriers and Setting Precedents


A significant turning point in the development of the financial and cannabis industries has been reached by First Citizens Bank's audacious entry into the market. It establishes a standard for other banks to follow as it is the biggest bank to enter this market. This choice indicates the industry's potential for economic growth as well as the way that views regarding cannabis are changing in society.


The presence of a large financial institution like this indicates a significant shift in the way mainstream commerce regards cannabis-related businesses. It paves the way for broader inclusion into the formal sector while also providing these companies respectability.


Furthermore, First Citizens Bank's strategic foray into the cannabis business highlights the significance of agility in a rapidly changing financial world. By grasping the potential given by the booming cannabis business, the bank places itself at the forefront of innovation, poised to profit from emerging markets and customer preferences.


As other financial institutions observe this milestone, they may feel compelled to reassess their own stance on engaging with the cannabis industry. This could spark a domino effect, leading to broader acceptance and support from the banking sector, ultimately driving further growth and normalization within the cannabis industry.


Challenges and Opportunities for Financial Institutions


Entering the cannabis business confronts financial institutions with a distinct mix of regulatory obstacles and opportunities. While the market has enormous potential, banks must traverse complicated regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements to ensure their involvement is ethical and sustainable.


One of the most significant challenges for financial institutions is balancing federal and state cannabis legislation. Despite rising state-level legalization, cannabis remains illegal on a federal level in the United States. This creates a legal gray area in which banks must carefully navigate to avoid potential consequences such as violating anti-money laundering legislation or violating federal banking rules.


Reliability in the financial infrastructure of the cannabis sector has also been hindered by the lack of clarity regarding banking services for cannabis enterprises. Due to traditional financial institutions' unwillingness to work with them, many cannabis entrepreneurs find it difficult to get basic banking services like company accounts and loans.


Nonetheless, financial institutions who are prepared to enter the cannabis sector will find plenty of opportunities despite these difficulties. Banks may become dependable partners in the sector by taking early steps to resolve regulatory issues and putting strong compliance systems in place.


Moreover, the increasing societal and political acceptance of cannabis suggests that future regulatory frameworks may need to adjust to better accommodate the needs of financial institutions as well as cannabis businesses. Early entrants into the cannabis market have the power to alter the regulatory landscape and position themselves as leaders in the sector.


Ultimately, financial institutions, regulators, and industry stakeholders must work together with consideration, diligence, and cooperation to successfully navigate the regulatory seas surrounding the cannabis sector. Banks can fully utilize the promise of the cannabis sector while preserving the integrity and stability of the financial system by addressing these challenges head-on.


Bottom Line


First Citizens Bank's bold leap into the cannabis industry not only signifies a monumental shift in the financial landscape but also underscores the growing acceptance and economic potential of the cannabis sector. As the largest bank to enter this market, its decision sets a precedent for others to follow, signaling a broader societal shift towards destigmatization and normalization. However, this move also presents formidable regulatory challenges for financial institutions, necessitating careful navigation of complex legal frameworks. Despite these hurdles, the burgeoning cannabis market offers unprecedented opportunities for growth and innovation, with early adopters poised to shape the future of cannabis finance while driving positive change in both industry and society.





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