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"Legislators, regulators, financial institutions and service providers want to know the best methods to establish cannabis banking in their states to keep their communities safer and offer a viable banking option for legal cannabis businesses," said Sundie Seefried, Safe Harbor Services Chairman and CEO of Partner Colorado Credit Union and Safe Harbor Private Banking. "After recently meeting with officials in Massachusetts and Michigan over several days, we realized the benefits of sharing our best practices to help other states navigate this new frontier."
Safe Harbor Services is the wholly-owned affiliate of Partner Colorado Credit Union, who is the leader, through its Safe Harbor Private Banking division, in providing compliance-based banking services to the legalized cannabis industry. Safe Harbor has served the banking needs of legal cannabis businesses, who otherwise were forced by federal laws to conduct all transactions in cash, and banks approximately $100 million per month in cannabis-related funds that are validated, transparent and accountable. Currently, Safe Harbor serves 160 clients, which include over 200 dispensaries, 160 cultivations and 65 manufacturers, along with an additional 70 plus ancillary service providers, to the cannabis industry.
Safe Harbor Services was created to bridge the gap between cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) and financial institutions by sharing industry knowledge, banking program options and resources nationwide. "We are uniquely positioned to expand the cannabis banking program nationally," said Safe Harbor Services Interim President, Katrina Skinner, "due to our real world knowledge and frontline experience. We know how to listen and adapt our program to meet the needs of financial institutions interested in expanding their services to include CRBs. We help those credit unions and banks build a solid business case by assessing the risks and benefits of banking the cannabis industry."
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As Safe Harbor Services Chairman and industry pioneer, Sundie provides strategic direction and expertise. "Moving into the cannabis space is not easy," says Sundie, "so we've created a process to help financial institutions proceed in a slow, methodical manner for the safety and soundness of their institutions. Our goal is to remove some of the 'pain points' we have managed through over the past four years to help them avoid the difficulties and mistakes learned firsthand, which allows them to focus on compliance." Sundie reports "the SHS business will meet break even targets in 2018, under Katrina Skinner's able management of a challenging start up." Safe Harbor is working with financial institutions in five states on cannabis banking solutions and opportunities. "We are fortunate to have Sundie's continued leadership," said Partner Colorado Board Chairperson, Linda Head, "so that we can assist other financial institutions with their programs and coach them at all levels to smooth the way for cannabis banking."
For more information about the cannabis banking education program, or to set up a visit, please contact Holly Bell firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PARTNER COLORADO CREDIT UNION
Established in 1931, Partner Colorado Credit Union is a member-owned not-for-profit cooperative with total assets exceeding $350 million. The credit union serves more than 31,000 members throughout the Denver metro area. Partner Colorado offers a wide range of financial products and services, including checking, savings, home and auto loans. Members benefit from the advantages of a credit union, including lower interest rates on loans and higher yields on savings. Partner Colorado actively supports the community by donating funds and employee volunteer hours to many Denver Metro area organizations. Partner Colorado is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. For more information, visit partnercoloradocu.org.
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ABOUT SAFE HARBOR PRIVATE BANKING
Safe Harbor Private Banking is the only compliance-based banking program for the cannabis industry, and a subsidiary of Partner Colorado Credit Union, a member-owned not-for-profit cooperative with total assets exceeding $350 million. Safe Harbor represents less than 10% of the credit union assets. Safe Harbor has served the banking needs of legal cannabis businesses, who otherwise were forced by federal laws to conduct all transactions in cash, and currently banks approximately $100 million per month in cannabis-related funds. Each dollar is validated, transparent and accountable for legitimate licensed entities. Praised by legislators and regulators as the "gold standard" in cannabis banking, Safe Harbor pioneered the turnkey program to help keep communities safer and stay true to the credit union philosophy of "serving the underserved." The program appears in national editorial coverage, including The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. The program is featured in a groundbreaking book, Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis Banking in a Time of Uncertainty, authored by Safe Harbor's CEO, Sundie Seefried. For more information, go to safeharborprivatebanking.com.
ABOUT SAFE HARBOR SERVICES
Safe Harbor Services was established to help bridge the gap between those operating cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) and financial institutions. It all began when Sundie Seefried, a 35-year veteran of the credit union industry, realized that helping financial institutions provide CRBs with an alternative to operating as cash-only businesses would ultimately mean greater community safety.
In 2014, Sundie established the Safe Harbor Program in Colorado. Its success led to an expansion of the program into other states with approved sale of recreational and/or medical cannabis. The core Safe Harbor Services team is comprised of leaders in the fields of banking, financial services and legal counsel. They also have a deep understanding of the cannabis industry. Their expertise regarding the policies and guidelines for offering financial services to the cannabis industry is what allows Safe Harbor Services to make available an innovative program for connecting CRBs with desirable financial services that is bigger than just banking. For more information, contact https://safeharborforbusiness.com.
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