One of the hardest things for a legal marijuana business to do is open a bank account, because Federal law prohibits it. In Washington state, which will sell about $1B of marijuana this year, just a handful of small banks and credit unions offer banking to cannabis businesses.
Two entrepreneurs in Chicago with backgrounds in finance, insurance and risk management are hoping to change that. Noah Carey and Bill Erwin say the goal of their company, Shield Compliance is to offer banks and cannabis businesses fully automating banking regulatory compliance, transparent connections between all the businesses’ record-keeping systems and the reduction of the risk and worry that come from working in cannabis.
Drawing on experience from the technology and finance sectors, the Shield Compliance founders are asking what a bank needs to feel protected, going into the industry. Chief executive Noah Carey says that his 30 years of financial risk management experience indicate that banks and their customers want to easily track the money flowing through the business, and to meet the strict audit requirements each state has set up for legal marijuana companies.