The program aims to make financial services, such as banking and electronic payments, more accessible to cannabis businesses nationwide.
RALEIGH, NC – April 20, 2022 – West Town Bank & Trust, a bank with a mission to make financial services more accessible to emerging and underserved industries, announces the launch of their dedicated cannabis banking program. The program provides the cannabis industry with secure, convenient, and modern financial tools, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and reduce the risks associated with operating a cash intensive business.
Due to federal regulations, cannabis businesses currently have difficulties accessing reliable financial products, forcing many businesses to operate without bank accounts or electronic payments. Others go to third-party intermediaries who partner with FDIC-insured banks behind closed doors. The lack of dependable financial services stunts the industry’s potential for growth, profitability, and increased consumer trust.
“As one of the first banks to roll out a hemp banking program after the 2018 Farm Bill, we witnessed first-hand the role dedicated banking programs played in advancing the entire industry,” says Ross Sloan, West Town Bank & Trust Senior Vice President of Hemp & Cannabis Banking, “We’re excited to do the same for cannabis businesses, offering them the banking services they need to not only fuel their growth, but the growth of the entire cannabis industry.”
The banking program at West Town Bank & Trust offers a full suite of financial service products to cannabis businesses and their ancillary partners. Cannabis businesses will have access to business checking accounts, electronic payment options, and more. With an in-house team entirely comprised of Certified Cannabis Bankers, regulatory compliance is a key cornerstone of the Bank’s cannabis banking program.
Mel Barnes, Hemp & Cannabis Program Director at West Town Bank & Trust, believes the Bank’s existing framework and successful track record in the hemp space will raise the standard for cannabis financial services, “Legal cannabis businesses should be able to access the same financial services as other industries. Using our in-house industry expertise, along with leveraging technology partners such as RiskScout, we’ve built a robust online onboarding and due diligence infrastructure that allows customers to access the services they need while feeling secure in their financial partner. This same infrastructure provided the opportunity to effectively scale our hemp program and we are excited to have the support from our Board of Directors and Executive Management Team to make a full commitment to serve the cannabis market.”
The cannabis banking program at West Town Bank & Trust is now accepting applications at www.westtownbank.com/cannabis-banking.
ABOUT WEST TOWN BANK & TRUST
Established in 1922, West Town Bank & Trust provides tailored financial solutions to emerging and underserved industries. The Bank was one of the first to provide a full suite of commercial banking services to hemp-related businesses when it launched its dedicated hemp program in 2019. West Town Bank & Trust’s new cannabis banking program ushers in the next chapter of accessibility to financial services for stakeholders in the cannabis industry.
The cannabis banking team is comprised of seven financial service professionals, all of whom are certified to bank cannabis businesses. The Bank’s cannabis bankers currently serve on the Cannabis Financial Institutions Group of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an advocacy group dedicated to developing solutions for the cannabis industry’s most pressing challenges.
West Town Bank & Trust is chartered in North Riverside, Illinois, and retains its operations in Raleigh, North Carolina.