We are now offering compliant, transparent banking services to cannabis-related businesses within our field of membership.
So, what does this mean?
It means that we have a responsibility to ensure that our services and practices are in-line with the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” We looked at the 25,000 members in multiple communities across a swath of cities and counties that we now serve, and knew that cannabis-related businesses are now established in all. By allowing cannabis-related businesses to have legitimate financial services, we are helping improve the safety and security of our members and the areas in which they live are.
Cannabis-related businesses often deal in cash-only transactions and so generally have large amounts of cash on-hand. Such circumstances can lead to an increase in crime or other dangerous activities. That being said, offering legal and compliant banking solutions to these businesses just makes sense to us – we are getting that cash off the streets and into a safe place.
“Serving the CRB industry, we become part of the solution and not part of the problem. The CRBs have difficulty forming banking relationships due to the limited number of credit unions and banks serving this industry. Providing banking services to this industry legitimizes these businesses. It also adds an element of safety and security to all of us that live and/or work in the community, which is in all of our best interests.”
— Robert Blumberg, CEO and President of Wauna Credit Union.
In addition, cannabis-related businesses are now legal businesses in Oregon and Washington. Those who choose to work in this field deserve to be treated fairly, and not required to hide the source of their money.
But it doesn’t mean we are taking this decision lightly. The cannabis industry possesses unique banking challenges. Cannabis is still illegal on a federal level and so Wauna Credit Union must adhere to many strict state and federal laws and policies.
We are covering our bases. We’ve assembled a specialized department to handle all due diligence and account opening for these accounts. An Oregon attorney is working with us to guarantee this program and the businesses with CRB accounts are fully complying with state law. Wauna Credit Union has zero tolerance for any type of deception or illegal activity. Accounts not complying with state and federal regulations will be closed immediately.
A safe community is a sound community, and Wauna Credit Union will continue to do what we can to see that we are contributing to bettering the places where we live and work. This sometimes requires making difficult decisions, sacrifices, and other changes. But if that means making things safer for the people we serve, then we are making the right decision.
Inquiries regarding Wauna Credit Union’s Cannabis Business Solutions account applications and opening procedures can be made at 800-773-3236.
Media inquiries may be directed to our Chief Marketing Officer Debi Smiley at 503-728-6116.