Cannabis Business Banking in Massachusetts

Are You Looking For a Bank For Your Cannabis Business?

Cannabis banking provides vital financial services designed for the unique needs of cannabis businesses, ensuring they follow state laws and avoid federal legal issues. With a strong banking partner, cannabis businesses can securely process payments, use specialized online banking, and get expert compliance help. Frequently, a business must partner with several financial institutions and financial technology (FINTECH) providers to accomplish a complete package of desired services.

Without a clear financial system setup for your company, you risk account closures, fund seizures, and reliance on risky cash transactions, making it harder to manage finances and grow effectively.

  • Cannabis banking in Massachusetts is complicated by federal prohibition, despite state legalization. Banks providing services to marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) must follow strict guidelines from the DOJ and FinCEN, addressing legal, security, and compliance risks. The Massachusetts Division of Banks ensures adherence to these regulations. Financial institutions must assess legal risks, AML compliance, cash management, and reputational risks while developing strategies for MRBs.

What Is The Best Bank For Cannabis Business in Massachusetts

There are several banks and credit unions that operate in Massachusetts that work with local Cannabis businesses, depending on the specific business’ needs. Some financial institutions work with cannabis-touching businesses and provide a select set of services, while others may work only with cannabis-adjacent (ancillary) businesses, which do not directly touch the plant, or the businesses that deal only with CBD.

It is very important to speak with a business banker from each considered bank, to clearly understand the set of services that are offered and what limitations are set in place based on the type of your cannabis business. Be transparent about your business needs. This allows you to shop for banking services from several sources, to put together a functional financial system. If one of your banks has a gap in the services, another financial institution can pick up the slack for it.

Here is a list of banks, federal credit unions (FCUs), lenders, and FINTECH companies that work with cannabis businesses in Massachusetts:

Company Name Type of Financial Institution Links
Northern Bank Bank COMPANY PROFILE
Needham Bank Bank
BayCoast Bank Bank
Dedham Savings Bank
Safe Harbor Financial FINTECH
Berkshire Bank Bank
Bank Five Bank
Herring Bank Bank
Main Street Bank Bank
Lighthouse Credit Union
North Easton Savings Bank Bank
FundCanna Lender

Contact a Banker To Discuss Your Business Needs

Reach out with any questions!

What Services Do Banks Provide For Cannabis Businesses?

Here is a list of standard business services, to which a business can gain access after opening the account:

Service Category Description
Business Checking Accounts Basic accounts for daily transactions, interest-bearing accounts.
Business Savings Accounts High-yield savings accounts, money market accounts.
Payment Processing Merchant services for credit and debit card processing, online payment gateways, mobile payment solutions.
Loans and Credit Business loans (term loans, SBA loans), lines of credit, equipment financing, commercial real estate loans.
Cash Management Services Cash handling and deposit services, cash concentration and disbursement, sweep accounts.
Treasury Management Automated Clearing House (ACH) services, wire transfers, lockbox services.
Payroll Services Payroll processing, direct deposit for employees, tax filing services.
Business Credit Cards Credit cards with rewards and benefits, expense management tools.
Online and Mobile Banking Account management, mobile deposits, online bill pay, fraud monitoring and alerts.
Merchant Services Point of Sale (POS) systems, e-commerce solutions, payment gateway integration.
Financial Advisory Services Investment advisory, financial planning, risk management.
Insurance Products Business liability insurance, property insurance, key person insurance.
Foreign Exchange Services Currency exchange, international wire transfers, foreign currency accounts.
Trade Finance Letters of credit, export financing, trade risk mitigation.
Commercial Services Commercial real estate services, equipment leasing, fleet management services.
Fraud Protection Fraud detection tools, secure transaction processing, cybersecurity services.

Differences Between Plant-Touching Cannabis Banking and Cannabis-Adjacent Banking

The key differences between plant-touching and cannabis-adjacent business banking are:

Aspect Plant-Touching Business Cannabis-Adjacent Business
Regulatory Compliance High compliance requirements and regulatory scrutiny. Moderate compliance requirements with less direct regulatory oversight.
Banking Services Need for robust cash management, transportation security, and specialized merchant services. Access to more traditional banking services with fewer restrictions.
Access to Credit More challenging due to higher risks and regulatory concerns. Easier access to credit and loans as they are considered less risky.
Risk Levels Higher legal and operational risks. Lower legal risks but potential reputational and financial risks.

Understanding these differences is crucial for businesses in both categories to choose the right banking partners and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Consequences of Operating a Cannabis Business Without a Bank

Operating a cannabis business without a bank has significant negative consequences:

  • It increases the risk of theft and loss due to handling large amounts of cash, and businesses miss out on fraud protection.
  • Access to capital is severely limited, making it difficult to obtain loans, lines of credit, or attract investors.
  • Payment processing capabilities are restricted, hindering the ability to accept electronic payments and engage in e-commerce.
  • Operational efficiency suffers as managing payroll and paying suppliers becomes more complicated and less secure.
  • Without banking services, record-keeping and financial management are challenging, complicating tax preparation and financial planning.
  • Regulatory compliance is harder to maintain, increasing the risk of audits, penalties, and legal issues.
  • Business credibility and professionalism are also affected, making it harder to establish vendor relationships.
  • Finally, growth and expansion opportunities are limited due to financial resource constraints and restricted market reach.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Bank For Your Business

Choosing the right bank for your cannabis business in Massachusetts is crucial due to the unique challenges and opportunities in the industry. Here are the key points to consider:

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the bank understands and complies with federal, state, and local regulations. Banks with robust compliance programs can better navigate the legal complexities of the cannabis industry.
  2. Financial Stability and Trust: Select a bank with a strong reputation for working with cannabis businesses. Trustworthy banks with high security standards are essential for protecting your funds and sensitive information.
  3. Access to Credit and Loans: Not all banks offer credit to cannabis businesses. Look for banks providing financial products tailored to your needs, such as lines of credit and working capital loans. Currently, most cannabis loans are issued based on the underlying real estate assets.
  4. Banking Services and Features: Choose a bank offering effective cash management solutions, merchant services, and other tailored banking products to handle your specific business operations.
  5. Cost of Banking: Be aware of potentially higher fees due to increased compliance costs. Compare fee structures and choose banks with transparent pricing to manage your expenses effectively.
  6. Customer Service: When possible, opt for banks with specialized support teams knowledgeable about the cannabis industry, providing prompt and reliable customer service.
  7. Convenience and Accessibility: Proximity of branches and ATMs is vital for cash-heavy operations. Efficient online and mobile banking services are also crucial for managing finances remotely.
  8. Business Growth and Expansion: Ensure the bank can scale its services as your business grows, supporting multi-state operations and providing expanded financial products.
  9. Financial Advice and Expertise: Banks with expertise in the cannabis industry can offer valuable financial advice and support, helping you navigate regulatory challenges and optimize your financial strategies.
  10. Reputation and Reviews: Choose banks with a positive reputation within the cannabis community. Industry reviews and testimonials can guide you toward reliable and supportive banking partners.

Selecting the right bank is essential for the success and growth of your cannabis business in Massachusetts. By considering these key factors, you can form a strategic banking partnership that supports your unique needs and promotes long-term success.

Documents You Need To Get Cannabis Banking in Massachusetts

When applying for a bank account, be ready to provide the following documentation about your business and the owners:

  • Secretary of State Filing or Certificate of Good Standing: Confirmation of legal establishment and compliance with state laws.
  • Operating Agreement or Company Bylaws: Governance structure documents (operating agreements for LLCs, bylaws for corporations).
  • Capitalization Table: A detailed list of company owners and their ownership percentages.
  • Certification of EIN/TIN or Tax Return: Proof of registration with the IRS (Employer Identification Number / Taxpayer Identification Number).
  • Cannabis Licenses: Verification of legal status to operate as a cannabis business in the state of Massachusetts

Additionally, depending on the type of your business, you may be asked for:

  • Property Title or Lease: Evidence of the business’s physical location.
  • Certificate of Insurance: Proof of adequate insurance coverage.
  • ​​Master Services Agreement: Agreement detailing relationships with third-party service providers, if applicable.

How Can Businesses in Massachusetts Get a Cannabis-Friendly Bank Account?

Contact a knowledgeable cannabis banker in Massachusetts today

Contact a Banking Consultant To Discuss Your Business Needs

Schedule a Consultation

Are You a Massachusetts Cannabis Banker?

If you offer cannabis banking services in the state of Massachusetts, request to be listed in the state directory.
Submit Your Company
In this section: