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Some banks creating roadblocks for emerging Vt. pot market

Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 4:45 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermonters looking to cash in on the state’s emerging pot market are running into issues at the bank.

The state is on track for retail marijuana sales by this fall and anyone applying for a retail license will be required to have a depository bank account. But with marijuana still listed as a Schedule 1 drug, banks that are federally insured have been turning down prospective retailers.

The Vermont Cannabis Control Board’s James Pepper says banking is just one area where federal prohibition has given states headaches. “We don’t want people stashing their money under their mattresses. We also want to support small businesses and social equity applicants, giving them access to traditional bank loans really levels the playing field for them against the well-capitalized multi-state actors,” he said.

Some local credit unions have been working with people looking to set up shop. And those looking to obtain a license can get one if they can prove hardship in getting a depository account.

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