While medical cannabis is federally legal in Canada under the ACMPR program, through which Health Canada has granted 35 licenses, some of the leading banks in the country are not willing to provide services. Alexandra Posadzki reported that Hemp Country, which sells cannabis accessories, lost its bank account with Scotiabank, the nation’s third largest bank, last month. A spokesperson confirmed that the bank is closing existing accounts and has a policy against opening accounts with cannabis-related businesses.
Canopy Growth (TSX: CGC) (OTC: TWMJF), which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and is fully licensed by Health Canada, lost its banking account with Royal Bank of Canada last year, when the bank, the largest in Canada, unilaterally closed it. The company’s official policy is to not provide banking services to cannabis producers or distributors.
My gut feeling is that probably someone in risk analysis somewhere determined that marijuana was a topic which had uncertainty surrounding it. So rather than looking at determining which (companies) were in concert with the laws and which were not, all were treated the same.
Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth
Canopy Growth now banks with Alterna Savings, which operates 23 branches in Ontario and 2 in Quebec and is the oldest credit union in Canada outside of Quebec.
Read Alexanda Posadzki’s “Two of Canada’s big five banks backing away from marijuana industry”: http://www.timescolonist.com/two-of-canada-s-big-five-banks-backing-away-from-marijuana-industry-1.2341079
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