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Providing financial services to marijuana-related businesses is a lot like serving other high risk groups. Financial institutions must first understand their appetite for risk and then take all due precautions prescribed under state and federal law in serving them, according to consultant Deborah Crawford.

“I’m not sure serving MRBs is any worse than banking payday lenders,” Crawford, president of Gettechnical Inc., a Baton Rouge, La.–based consulting firm, said to participants at a Feb. 13 BankWebinars.com session. “If you’re going to serve [payday lenders] or other higher-risk customers, you might find a place among MRBs that you can live with.”

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