Banking on Pot: Arizona's Banks and Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries Seek an Unprosecutable Relationship
|Finding banking services for his business, Encanto Green Cross, has been difficult for Nick Kriaris.|
On a recent Friday afternoon, Nick Kriaris, owner of Encanto Green Cross medical-marijuana dispensary in Phoenix, and his brother, Chris, tried to open an account at Bank of America for their nonprofit business with $420 in cash.
The attempt at the bank branch at 3030 North Central Avenue was, to some extent, a stunt, from the pot-culture-inspired amount of the initial deposit to the dispensary employee videotaping his bosses. They knew the odds of success were minimal, if not zero.
But if the bank agreed to take the medical-marijuana retail shop’s money, it would have been something of a minor historical moment. Although dozens of dispensaries are authorized to operate in the state, no bank will deal openly with them — yet.
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