Cannabis and banking have been at odds since legalization first touched down in Colorado and Washington — but now, a Chase Paymentech business account has been shut down because the company, a media organization, likes to talk about cannabis.
Cannabis media group Green Flower Media announced over the weekend that Chase pulled their account after after only four days of activity, and it was subject matter relating to cannabis that prompted the move.
According to Green Flower Media’s CEO and founder Max Simon, the company had been operating in full compliance with Chase’s rules and was upfront about the company’s subject matter during the application process. It took only four days of activity for the banking giant to change its mind.
“We had to go through four different managers and account executives to discover that they shut down our account because: ‘Your subject matter is cannabis and we don’t support that here at Chase,'” Simon wrote in an email. “As a media company that disseminates educational information, this feels very much like a First Amendment violation. We were 100% approved and compliant, and now they have decided to cancel our account just because they don’t ‘support’ the content of our media.”
“Our content is about using cannabis to save lives,” Simon continued. “Our speakers demonstrate how cannabis kills cancer, treats sick kids, and can be used to manage life-threatening illnesses such as epilepsy and PTSD. For Chase to spontaneously decide that they do not support our content is not only hurtful to our business, but it is also damaging… public health.”
Thankfully, Green Flower Media suffered minimal setbacks from the incident, and expects their banking services to be restored by Tuesday through a different banking institution.