Credit Union one plans to offer banking services to cannabis industry

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Credit Union 1 announced in a press conference Thursday morning, it will be launching a pilot program to offer banking services to Marijuana Related Businesses or MRB's. Credit Union 1 President and CEO James Wileman explains why the company chose to take this step.

"The credit union has always had our best success when we make our own magic and go our own way to serve our members, and especially to serve those who are in need of service or who are under served, and we see the MRB industry as being in that bucket, having had no access to financial services here in the state," he said.

He also explained why the credit union is able to offer these services.

"Credit Union 1 is Alaska's only state chartered credit union, so there is guidance that exists on a federal level, from a reporting standpoint, cash in and cash out, things of that nature that we will be compliant with and have a program to track to ensure that the cash going through the credit union is from a legally recognized business in the state," he said.

Owner of GoodSinse Dan Peters shares his feelings about this advancement.

"Well, this is fantastic news. I am definitely eager to jump on board with this. It is going to be a game changer for our company," he said.

He also shared how access to these services with benefit his business.

"There is so much more safety that is going to come from this, where now I will be able to pay my taxes with a check. Past the safety point is just us being able to accept credit cards potentially and do other regular business moves that a lot of businesses enjoy," he said.

Wileman stressed this advancement is not the credit union taking a political stance on the legalization of cannabis, but rather an opportunity to meet the financial needs of a growing market.