Greater Nevada Credit Union Expands Banking Support for Cannabis-Related Businesses
Remaining true to its mission, Greater Nevada responds to aid Nevada companies, employees and organizations unable to receive vital services elsewhere.
In an effort to offer more traditional banking services to a rapidly growing, cash-based industry, Greater Nevada Credit Union is supporting cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) through its suite of banking solutions. GNCU made the decision to offer these services in an attempt to cater to the underserved industry, remove cash as a barrier for CRBs and is doing so in-line with legal and regulatory guidelines.
While many banks are unable to support CRBs under federal law, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has said credit unions may provide the customary range of financial services for business accounts to lawfully operating CRBs within their field of membership. There are 756 CRBs in the state, according to the Cannabis Compliance Board for the State of Nevada, all businesses that stand to benefit from this offering and in industries including transportation, construction, laboratories, dispensaries and agriculture services. Workers in these industries will also stand to benefit with more versatility and security in their banking.
“Due to the current federal legal climate, Nevada’s cannabis-related businesses were effectively cut off from full access to the banking system. That situation created a variety of serious safety and security issues for those business owners, their employees, customers, and others with whom they conduct their business.” Wally Murray, Greater Nevada Credit Union President and CEO, said. “Consistent with our passion for helping more people Live Greater, we were determined to find a solution to those issues. We developed a safe, secure, stable, and compliant system by finding the right mix of experienced partners. The solution effectively meets the needs of business owners by providing them with easy and consistent access to their funds.”
Greater Nevada launched a small pilot program for cannabis banking in 2020. Since that successful launch, the program has expanded to include dozens of cannabis-related businesses receiving commercial banking services through the credit union.
“We were initially cautious in rolling out our solution so that we didn’t overpromise and underdeliver,” Murray said. “However, it has now been fully in place for a couple of years and is being received quite well by our cannabis-related business members.”
Compliance in the cannabis industry is paramount as financial institutions are required to take extra steps to know their cannabis customers and ensure that they are complying with state and federal regulations. To serve CRBs, Greater Nevada must also continuously pass examinations to prove its regulatory compliance. Greater Nevada Credit Union must also closely follow the 2014 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance. Greater Nevada Credit Union is examined by both the NCUA and the State of Nevada Financial Institutions Division (FID), which have regulatory oversight of federally insured, state-chartered credit unions.
Click here to learn more about how Greater Nevada is serving CRBs.