We write often about the banking challenges faced by marijuana business owners because it is a critical issue on which all of our cannabis clients agree. Denying cannabis businesses access to a legitimate banking system is bad for just about everyone.

So we are always glad to be able to write about some lights in the banking tunnel, no matter how dim. We are aware of more banks and credit unions in Washington and Nevada taking on cannabis clients, though usually in highly proscribed numbers and with extra fees. And Colorado recently granted a state charter to Fourth Corner Credit Union in Denver. FCCU will offer banking services specifically tailored to the marijuana industry. Representatives from FCCU have stated that they intend to open their doors in the coming weeks.

Though Colorado’s banking regulators granted a charter to FCCU on November 19th , the credit union must still receive a master account number from the Federal Reserve to obtain access to the country’s electronic banking system. However, according to a recent USA Today article, “the credit union believes that it will get the account number without a fight because the Federal Reserve must give out numbers to organizations that have been granted state charters.”

As we have discussed before, though a few banks and credit unions are doing business in each of the states where marijuana business is legal (and though the number of such institutions is very slowly growing), we are not seeing nearly enough growth to meet existing market demand. We would love to see Fourth Corner Credit Union obtain a master account number from the Federal Reserve as that can only help pave the way for other state chartered credit unions to begin providing banking services to licensed marijuana businesses.

For more on banking issues pertaining to marijuana businesses, see the following:

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Photo of Alison Malsbury Alison Malsbury

Alison primarily focuses on corporate and intellectual property transactions, working primarily with Harris Bricken’s cannabis, tech and entertainment clients. She has assisted clients with contracts, company formation, intellectual property protection, and regulatory compliance, and enjoys working with creative entrepreneurs at all stages of…

Alison primarily focuses on corporate and intellectual property transactions, working primarily with Harris Bricken’s cannabis, tech and entertainment clients. She has assisted clients with contracts, company formation, intellectual property protection, and regulatory compliance, and enjoys working with creative entrepreneurs at all stages of business development. Alison has a strong and growing practice representing celebrities on their cannabis endorsement deals and helping cosmetic and skin care companies navigate the complicated laws involving CBD.

Before joining Harris Bricken, Alison worked with the in-house legal team of one of the largest software companies in the world on their trademark and technology licensing issues.

Alison teaches Cannabis Law and Policy at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was the technical editor for the Santa Clara Journal of International Law. During her time, she also received multiple awards in intellectual property, including the High Tech Excellence Award and the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Patents.

A Seattle native, Alison enjoys cycling, skiing, surfing, and just about any outdoor endeavor. She can often be found spending time with her rescued cat, Floyd, and her dog, Wiley.