Scotiabank and the Royal Bank of Canada say it’s now a no go for providing accounts to companies associated with the marijuana industry.
That means people like Hemp Country owner Nathan MacLellan are scrambling. After 10 years with Scotiabank he says he got a letter from the bank saying his account was being axed. His store doesn’t even sell actual cannabis, just accessories like pipes.
In another case a medical marijuana producer says they got a call from Scotiabank, with the message that they were no longer doing business with the marijuana industry.
A Scotiabank spokesman said in an email that due to privacy issues, the bank can’t comment on specific instances but in general the aim was to “manage risks soundly while making prudent business decisions.” Also the psokesperson added that Scotiabank will continue to monitor the industry and may change its position in the future.
Royal Bank also confirmed that it doesn’t provide banking services to companies “engaged in the production and distribution of marijuana.” A spokesperson for Royal Bank said that “Please know that decisions like these are not taken lightly and are only done after a careful assessment.”
Bruce Linton, the CEO of Canopy Growth Corp.,(a licensed producer of marijuana) says he got a letter from RBC roughly a year ago telling him the bank was cancelling the account and he says that he remembers hearing a of a few others having the same letter.
Since then, Canopy has been banking with Alterna Savings credit union.
But the bottom line is that with the changes, some folks in the marijuana industry are left searching for new financing options.
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