Banks and Credit Unions Working with Cannabis Business in the U.S.


  • Despite federal prohibition of cannabis, the number of U.S. financial institutions serving the industry increased more than 29% in 18 months.
  • Most institutions are state-chartered banks and credit unions; national banks avoid plant-touching businesses pending formal clarity of federal rules regarding cannabis businesses.
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidelines compel institutions dealing with a “marijuana-related business” to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) of all plant-touching business transactions, regardless of whether the businesses are violating federal guidelines or state laws.
  • As of March 2018, institutions serving the industry filed 51,391 SARs, including 12,133 account terminations. Notably, the number of cannabis business account terminations doubled from 5,865 terminations in Q1-2017.

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