Recently, the Four Corners Credit Union has made headlines by promising to be the first of its kind institution to serve the cannabis industry exclusively and provide the very types of banking services businesses sorely need.

We here at the Cannabis Business Summit recently caught up with Colorado’s Director of Marijuana Coordination and Cannabis Business Summit panelist to get his take on the recent developments.

CBS: Can you explain what is happening right now with the four corners credit union?

AF: They went through the same credit union process anybody else would go through, applied for a state charter, got a conditional state charter based on their business plan and the things that normally go into a state charter.

They went to NCUA with that. NCUA came back, according to Four Corners Credit Union, with “it will take us a year or two to process.” Four corners then went back to the regulations and saw that, to get a final state charter, it was only necessary that you apply for NCUA insurance.

And so upon review, The Department of Financial Services, which is a division inside the Department of Regulatory Affairs, gave them a final charter so they are now a state chartered credit union. The only step really left is not actually anything to do with deposit insurance, it’s to get a master account with the Federal Reserve. So they are now looking to get that master account which shouldn’t go to the board of directors. It should be an administrative procedure so they have some level of confidence that they can get a master account.

CBS: Why is this different that previous efforts to provide banking services that have failed?

AF: Well I’m not sure any efforts have failed, some things have come to fruition. But our entire strategy is, as many reasonable solutions that there are going forward we will do everything we can to see them continue on because we do believe this is a public safety issue. We’re hoping this is a good procedure forward but, again, we don’t see it as the final solution to this thing and we’ll continue with as many solutions to this problem as possible.

CBS: How closely do you work with the industry to find a solution to the banking problem?

AF: We meet pretty regularly with anybody who thinks they have some kind of possible solution. So we make ourselves incredibly available to industry on that.

CBS: Do you think this will work and at least provide some temporary relief to some of these businesses?

We’re hopeful but I can’t put odds on it. We’re monitoring it really closely. If they are able to set up a credit union, we’re hope that will provide some relief, even if it’s not a total fix.

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