To be blunt, financing the legal marijuana business in Maine is not easy – NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ

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To be blunt, financing the legal marijuana business in Maine is not easy – NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ

Colby College student Brandon Pollock had many challenges to overcome while trying to build his Maine cannabis business S

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Colby College student Brandon Pollock had many challenges to overcome while trying to build his Maine cannabis business

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The marijuana industry caught the eye of Colby College student Brandon Pollock in 2010. 

The new medical market for cannabis was growing in California, and Pollock followed. When he began working for a dispensary and consulting firm, he learned the harsh truth facing this industry; cannabis businesses can’t use banks. Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, officials can penalize financial institutions for providing services to cannabis-related businesses. When Pollock launched his company Theory Wellness, he couldn’t even get a bank loan.

Lack of financial support means many shops have lots of on-hand cash, making them a target for robbery. Transaction attorney Andrew Kaufman said banks don’t like cash businesses because it’s harder to keep proper financial records. The passing of the SAFE Banking Act would solve this issue, as the bill would allow banks and credit unions to work with cannabis businesses.

According to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, recreational marijuana sales reached $3.7 Million last month alone. Since sales began last October, the state has reported $13-million in transactions.

The SAFE Banking Act would give this industry the legitimacy it’s been looking for and allow banks and credit unions to legally work with cannabis shops as the market continues to grow and expand in Maine.

See Sam Rogers’ full report TONIGHT on NEWS CENTER Maine at 6P.

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