Canadian Credit Union Association

Tools to Help CUs Assess “Fit” with Cannabis-related Businesses

Mar 6, 2019 – In June 2018, Parliament made the legal consumption of recreational cannabis a reality for Canadians with passage of the Cannabis Act. The Act creates a stringent licensing and regulatory regime for recreational cannabis under which the federal government regulates production while the provinces assume responsibility for retail distribution.

The result has been an astounding surge in cannabis-related entrepreneurship, but despite their new-found legitimacy, these businesses, especially those in the start-up phase, still regularly report being shunned by mainstream financial institutions. While the reasons for this reluctance to bank these businesses are varied and rarely made public, they are likely rooted in the risks inherent to the industry, such as its propensity for money laundering.

To help navigate the potential economic opportunity serving this sector could present credit unions, CCUA has created a webpage under Regulatory Compliance dedicated to information about serving the marijuana industry. The page houses links to cannabis-related legislation and regulations across the country, as well as, tools, templates, best practices and issues to consider when choosing to serve the sector. (Please note that a username and password are required for access.)