HARDCAR Next Generation Security had a lot to celebrate these last few weeks as we saw some significant progress in cannabis banking for our industry, and we were at the forefront of some of the efforts.
Secure cash management is a key part of keeping any cannabis dispensary secure, and with cannabis being federally illegal, banks have always stayed away from cannabis cash. HARDCAR played in integral role in the safe management and transport of cannabis cash, but we recognized that this wasn’t enough.
Here’s an overview of the role of HARDCAR, our staff, and the cannabis industry in moving cannabis banking forward:
The Issue of Cannabis Banking
Early estimates this year by Marijuana Business Daily projected by the end of 2017, the legal marijuana business will grow to $5.1-6.1 billion dollars of revenue across legalized states. Conservatives estimates project that the financial growth of dispensary sales in legalized states will contribute to a $68.4 billion dollar impact by 2021. It was also reported earlier this year that the number of jobs in the legal cannabis industry could surpass that of the manufacturing industry in the nation by 2020.
Simply put, there is a lot of money being held within the cannabis industry, and there are no banks to put the cash in, leaving cannabis dispensaries vulnerable. There is a threat of violent crimes on cannabis businesses who are targeted for their cash holdings. Cannabis dispensaries were resorting to paying farmers to allow them to host “backyard banks” as a solution. HARDCAR needed to be a part of that solution.
In addition to safety and security, banking is needed to pay state taxes on marijuana sales (especially important for recreational sales in 2018), legally pay their employees, and investor money needs to be secure.
HARDCAR’s Role in Pushing Things Forward
HARDCAR took an active role in finding solutions for cannabis banking, stepping forward as a cannabis security company responsible for minimizing and mitigating any safety and security threats to cannabis businesses.
Our CEO, Todd Kleperis is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and he holds a position as Chairman of the Banking & Legal Committee. Part of this role was meeting with California State Treasurer John Chiang, as a method to address gaps in cannabis banking services for his home state.
The NCIA worked with other advocacy groups to inform Treasurer Chiang of the threat to security proposed to cannabis dispensaries without banking services and also addressed that state compliance will need to rely on banking for tax purposes.
We could never have imagined our work could contribute to the great strides the cannabis industry in California made in the last few weeks.
Cannabis Banking is Happening!
We were excited to announce that a project we had been working on for a good chunk of this year came to fruition. Through strategic discussions, HARDCAR has created a partnership with the Federal Bank of San Francisco and their Los Angeles branch that allows our company to deposit money into banks for our cannabis business clients.
Now, cannabis money is being co-mingled with other money; HARDCAR deposited $25 million in these banks alone in the last few months. We recognize that this is a huge advance forward for cannabis banking in California, and in the nation.
At the same time, California Treasurer John Chiang released a strong report that detailed the need for cannabis cash to be held in banks, adding a great deal of fuel to our fire in our advocacy efforts.
Other Ways HARDCAR Is Helping
Recognizing that there is still a long way to go to secure banking for the whole cannabis industry, HARDCAR is stepping in with valuable cash transportation services. We’ve offered municipalities a way to help transport municipal cannabis taxes cash from dispensary to deposit in our armored vehicles. We embrace our role in keeping cannabis cash safe in a big way.
Stay tuned as HARDCAR continues our quest with our partners in the NCIA to ensure that the cannabis industry is getting access to the secure banking services they need and very-well deserve.