Maps CUs’ Rachel Pross Testifies at House Hearing Examining Cannabis Banking

 

A first step toward possible federal legislation that will allow credit unions to more freely serve legal marijuana-related businesses was taken at a House hearing Feb. 13.

The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions heard expert testimony from Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer at Maps Credit Union. Maps has been serving legal canna businesses since 2014.

“In terms of safety, statistics show that cash-only businesses increase the risk of crime. This is especially true in the cannabis sector given the lack of access to basic financial services. A 2015 study found that, in the absence of being banked, one in every two cannabis dispensaries were robbed or burglarized,” Pross testified. “Compare that to Maps — in the past two years, we have received over 500 million dollars in cash deposits from cannabis businesses. That’s 500 million dollars removed from Oregon’s sidewalks that used to be carried around in backpacks and shoeboxes by legitimate, legal business owners.”

 

Pross told the committee about the compliance burden. Maps employs one employee for every 40 cannabis businesses.

 

Legislation was introduced to the subcommittee to create protections for financial institutions serving cannabis-related legitimate businesses. Rep. Denny Heck, (D-WA-10) is one of our representatives sponsoring the proposed measure.

 

Posted in Advocacy on the Move.