Florida’s First Green Bank started serving the state’s medical marijuana industry with much fanfare this year, boasting that it was the only financial institution in the state willing to work with marijuana businesses. “I suspect we’ll have the entire industry by [the fall],” the bank’s founder and chairman Ken LaRoe told the Sun-Sentinel.
In August, the bank was serving six out of seven of Florida’s licensed medical marijuana producers, a decision that stemmed out of its founder’s personal experience. “My wife developed a seizure disorder and she was able to be cured with cannabis,” said LaRoe, who described marijuana as a “miracle drug.”
Miracle or not, First Green Bank is now pulling the plug on its cannabis clients. It’s closing marijuana business accounts ahead of an acquisition by a larger financial institution, reports the Miami Herald. Larger banks are less likely to take on the risk of touching marijuana money. In states that have legalized marijuana, it’s the community banks and credit unions that have been more willing to serve the industry.
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