Las Vegas Sun: Marijuana businesses struggle to find willing banking suitors

Making a bank deposit for marijuana store owners in Colorado could involve this complex routine: Some spray Febreze on cash stacks to mask the marijuana smell and others deposit money orders to avoid federal suspicious activity reports from depositing too much cash, dispensary owners there say.

Some of Colorado’s nearly 1,000 licensed dispensaries operate under “don’t ask, don’t tell” circumstances when banking and share little information with banks so they’re allowed to open accounts. To skirt the system, license holders use generic sounding entities as their business names such as Denver’s Royal Asset Management and RK Enterprises, and talk around the issue of what kind of businesses they operate when asked simple questions by bank employees.

Otherwise, they’re stuck with cash — tens of thousands of dollars of it, and no place to deposit their money earned by selling the plant to customers.

“As soon as a bank here gets wind you’re affiliated with the marijuana industry, they’re going to prevent you from getting an account, or close it if you already have one,” said Neil Demers, owner of the Denver-based Diego Pellicer dispensary. “It’s smart to have two or three accounts in case one gets shut down.”

“It’s all on the down low,” he added.

H/T: Las Vegas Sun

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