Did you know that America’s fastest growing industry is all-cash?
According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s “largely shut out of the banking sector, meaning they have to use armored trucks… to ferry currency.”
But despite the hurdle it’s become the fastest growing industry in North America. And it’s projected to create more jobs than manufacturing by 2020.
As it gains popularity, Forbes reports more banks are welcoming the business.
Savvy investors expect massive growth as this once underground industry enters mainstream banking.
CNBC reports, “Wall Street is increasingly advising clients to invest in the booming…market.”
And popular financial site TheStreet warns, “Anyone who resists the rise of [this industry] is among dumbest on Wall Street.”
Growing Access to Banking Services
Since the U.S. Treasury issued guidance on the issue in 2014, banks and credit unions have been able to do business with the marijuana industry without being prosecuted — so long as they monitor marijuana-related accounts closely to make sure they steer clear of Justice Department enforcement priorities, such as funding gang activity.
Local institutions that are chartered at the state level have been particularly willing to work with the industry.
In Oregon, where sales of recreational marijuana began in 2015, Salem-based Maps Credit Union decided to serve pot businesses after audits revealed some of its members were already in the industry. “It didn’t really square with our philosophy to kick members out,” said Shane Saunders, chief experience officer.
Taking on the new line of business required investments in staff, anti-money laundering software, and extra security at bank branches, said Rachel Pross, the credit union’s chief risk officer. Under the current federal guidance, Maps has to send a report on each marijuana-related account to the U.S. Treasury every 90 days, plus a report each time an account experiences a cash transaction of over $10,000.
Maps staff run background checks on marijuana-related business owners who want to open an account. They conduct regular, in-person inspections of the businesses whose accounts they manage, and they require business owners to share their quarterly financial statements.
Dispensaries that bank with Maps make most of their sales in cash, because credit- and debit-card processors typically won’t touch pot money. As of October, the credit union had handled $140 million in cash deposits from 375 pot-related accounts in 2017, Pross said. Some companies hold multiple accounts.
In neighboring Washington, where recreational pot sales began in 2014, several financial institutions are openly working with the industry.
E.B. Tucker, the financial analyst who often scoops his colleagues in emerging industries, has found 3 stocks set to soar in this industry in 2018.