Legal pot retailers, such as this one on 82nd Avenue in Portland, officially opened their doors to Oregonians on Oct. 1.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in four states, interest in serving the industry is growing among credit unions. However, they have many questions about how the process would work – and wonder if it’s worth the risk.

The benefits of opening membership to marijuana businesses include growth for the credit union and a reduction in crime for the businesses being served, but the workload required on the credit union’s end is quite heavy, according to Lynn Ciani, executive vice president and general counsel for Numerica Credit Union. Ciani explained to attendees at an NWCUA Amplify breakout session dedicated to marijuana business banking how her credit union made it happen at the trade association’s annual meeting Wednesday.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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