Banking for the marijuana business is accessible but challenging

Since Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018, banking for marijuana-related businesses has become more accessible. But the marijuana industry still faces obstacles that other commercial establishments don’t have to consider.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, meaning marijuana-related businesses have limited access to federally regulated financial services, including loans and 401(k)s. Marijuana-related businesses are also limited in which payment processing companies (debit/credit cards) they can work with and must pay a high tax rate.

Since the sale of medical marijuana began in Missouri, the industry has flourished. Sales, which began in October 2020, recently topped $600 million, according to Lyndall Fraker, director of public affairs for the Missouri Department of Cannabis Regulation.

Tax rates over 70%

Tax bill 280E is one of the biggest challenges facing the marijuana industry nationwide, said David Brodsky, director of retail at The Farmer’s Wife, which operates three dispensaries in southern Missouri.

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