Top 5 Cannabis Banking Issues Your Business Should Consider


National banking regulations make it somewhat of a challenge when it comes to the cannabis industry—more specifically, cannabis banking and financial services.

Even though the distribution and use of cannabis is legal in certain states, cannabis remains illegal under federal law. Most banks avoid working with cannabis businesses because of the threat and pressure from the federal government.

To protect themselves, most banks are often hesitant to take on the risk of doing any business with a customer or a company that could cause them to be accused of any crime.

So what does this mean for those of you in the cannabis industry, looking to partner with an accredited bank?

Many business owners and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry continue to focus on the gap between state and federal laws on cannabis banking, and bring attention to the inability of assisting businesses and people in their areas.

Even through advocacy and support towards cannabis banking are on the rise, there’s still many loopholes and misguided information that many businesses aren’t aware of.


As a cannabis business owner, you deserve to have answers to your questions about cannabis banking and financial services. The more you know about your industry, the better success, and profits, you’ll get in return.

Follow along to learn about the most common cannabis banking issues, how to avoid them from occurring, and ways to stay proactive with your cannabis business banking accounts.

Top 5 Cannabis Banking Issues: Learn Your Industry Guidelines

1. Partnering with the Right Bank

Once the beginning stages of your cannabis business are in place, you might be wondering how to navigate to the next step: finding the best cannabis banking company for your business.

While cannabis mostly remains a cash-based industry, numerous cannabis companies have managed to successfully operate around financial restrictions or barriers.

However, finding a cannabis banking partner can sometimes feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. How do you know which companies are authentic and abide by all FDIC regulations?

When it comes to your money (and your business), doing your research is a must. When searching online, look for a partner who offers banking solutions specifically designed and targeted to cannabis-related businesses (CRBs).

A reliable cannabis banking company will provide you with access to banking services that not only save time but also reduce the risks associated with being a cash-only business.

It’s important to remember, it’s up to you to make the decision of which cannabis banking company you partner with. It’s your hard-earned money—make sure you pick wisely.

To learn more on partnering with the right bank and the challenges you might face, read an article published by The Economist, Why Marijuana Retailers Can’t Use Banks.


2. HR and Payroll: Addressing All Components

How big is your cannabis business? How many employees are currently employed? How are you sure your business is compliant with human resources and payroll laws?

Have you considered any of these questions above? If not, it’s time you do so. There’s more to your cannabis business besides production and revenue.

One major issue that cannabis businesses face is the lack of knowledge or implementation of human resource and payroll policies.

And, with the cannabis industry growing so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with day-to-day business operations, primarily payroll and HR.

Make sure you’re partnering with a cannabis banking company that keeps you compliant with state and federal human resource and payroll laws.

Don’t let the ever-changing world of new laws and regulations keep you from your passion.

To learn more about the payroll services associated with cannabis banking, visit our Cannabis Business Payroll & Tax Services page.

3. Lack of Tools Offered

Throughout your search for a cannabis banking partner, have you come across companies offering a wide range of communication, reporting, or analytics tools?

Keep in mind that just because a company claims they support cannabis banking doesn’t mean they have a multitude of tools to support all the goals you have in place for your business, employees, and customers.

Your growing business needs a cannabis banking system that promotes:

  1. Everyday company communications
  2. Human resource management
  3. Invoice history
  4. Payroll register
  5. Deduction register
  6. Summary reports
  7. An archived data system that can access previously submitted payroll

A cannabis banking company can offer you all the tools in the world. But, without teaching you how to use them, the tools are invaluable.

4. Forgetting to Focus on Your Employees

It’s easy to get caught up in the production and revenue side of your business. After all, money is one thing that can make or break your business.

However, sometimes cannabis businesses forget to give the same attention to their employees, as they do their customers.

Earlier, we mentioned issues with addressing all components of your business, such as payroll. This is specifically important when it comes to your employees.

Partner with a cannabis banking company that has a “worry-free” payroll processing system. A great cannabis banking company makes sure employees are paid timely, accurately, in compliance with state and federal labor laws, and lets you know when your payroll is complete and ready to go.

Remember, your employees are part of your team and have a huge impact on the success and growth of your business. Taking care of them goes a long way.


5. Finding A Company Who Serves Your Specific Business Needs

Every company out there is different and unique in their own way, right? Companies wouldn’t reach success without partners that strategically target their services to meet the individual requirements of a business.

Your cannabis business is much different than the one down the street, and you both operate in ways that support your precise business plans and goals.

Whether your business is just starting up or you’re a seasoned veteran as a business owner, a great cannabis banking company has the tools and resources to help you mitigate risk and grow your business.

If you really want to know what differentiates a great cannabis banking company from the rest, ask them how they support different customers with different needs.

A great cannabis banking company will say something along the lines of,

“We realize that every business is unique, and therefore tailor each service package specifically to you—providing only the amenities you need and nothing more.”

As you can tell, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the best cannabis banking company for your business. However, no matter what stage your business is at, you deserve to partner with a company who supports the goals of your business, employees, and customers.


Our goal at Greenleaf HR is to educate you on the cannabis banking industry while providing you with the resources your business needs to grow. Whether you’re a current client or a business owner interested in cannabis banking services, we’re here to inform you of the best ways a cannabis banking partner can support your business. To learn more about cannabis banking and financial services, or about the services we provide, reach out to us, here. Let us help you take your company forward, faster.

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