Overcoming Banking Issues in the Cannabis Industry with Sahar Ayinehsazian

As a cannabis entrepreneur, you know that navigating the complex legal and financial landscape of the cannabis industry can be challenging. One of the most significant obstacles you may face is finding a reliable banking partner for your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore the banking issues facing the cannabis industry and provide some practical tips to help you overcome these challenges.

Why is Cannabis Banking So Challenging?

The primary reason for the banking issues in the cannabis industry is the legal uncertainty surrounding marijuana at the federal level. While some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, many banks are hesitant to provide financial services to cannabis businesses, fearing potential legal repercussions.

Cash-Only Operations: A Risky Alternative

For cannabis entrepreneurs who can’t find a banking partner, the only option is to operate on a cash-only basis. While this may seem like a viable alternative, it’s actually quite risky. Cash-based businesses are vulnerable to theft, and the lack of financial records can make it difficult to track expenses and revenues accurately. Additionally, cash-based operations can create significant accounting and tax compliance issues.

Potential Solutions to Cannabis Banking Issues

Despite the challenges, there are some potential solutions to the banking issues facing the cannabis industry. Here are some tips to help you overcome these obstacles:

Find a Banking Partner Specializing in Cannabis Businesses

Many banks and credit unions now specialize in serving cannabis businesses. Do your research and find a partner that understands the unique needs of the industry.

Be Transparent with Your Banking Partner

It’s crucial to be transparent with your banking partner about the nature of your business and the legal requirements you must comply with. This will help build trust and ensure that your banking partner can meet your needs effectively.

Build Relationships Over Time

Finally, it’s essential to build relationships with your banking partner over time. By maintaining clear communication and building trust, you can establish a reliable and long-lasting banking relationship.

Listen to this podcast for an expert insight on cannabis banking

Check this interview by our guest host Jen Flanagan with Sahar Ayinehsazian, a partner in Vicente LLP’s Los Angeles office and co-lead for the firm’s Banking and Financial Services Access practice.


While banking issues in the cannabis industry can be challenging, there are ways to overcome these obstacles. By finding a reliable banking partner, being transparent about your business, and building relationships over time, you can ensure that your cannabis business can successfully navigate the financial landscape.

Have a question you want answered? Ask an expert: https://cannabisbusinessminds.com/ask-a-cannabis-expert/

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