The report says one of the major hurdles for the industry is banking. Due to the fact that marijuana is federally illegal, banks are apprehensive to serve marijuana and marijuana-related clients. The report found that only 30 percent of companies that touch the plant has a bank account while 51 percent of ancillary businesses have secured banking.
There are so many interesting angles to this story.
- What happens when something that was illegal is fairly rapidly legalized? This happened with the repeal of the 18th Amendment outlawing alcohol of course but we didn’t have social media back then. I wonder if they went through the same booming economy?
- An interesting note is the biggest hurdle for pot merchants is banking. Since it’s still against the law federally to grow or sell pot banks aren’t willing to deal with the pot merchants. The article notes only 31% of merchants have access to banking. Where is the rest of the money going? Bitcoin?
- The other note is that pot grown indoors consumes 1% of the total electricity output in the U.S. That’s crazy, why are they growing pot indoors and not outside where it would naturally thrive? Hard to imagine all those acres in Humboldt County for instance require electricity.
Regardless the fact that pot grew from $5.4b to $6.7b in one year is amazing especially given it’s legal in only 3 states (although available in some legalized form in many).