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sabato 31 gennaio 2015

Washington CUs Open 'Joint' Biz Accounts

By Michael Muckian
January 30, 2015


Humulus lupulus, or hops, an essential ingredient in brewing beer, is a close cousin to Cannabis sativa, or marijuana, long used both legally and illegally for medicinal and recreational purposes.

However, that botanical bond is not the reason the $195 million O Bee Credit Union, based in Olympia, Wash., chose to be among the first financial institutions to serve its state's budding recreational marijuana industry.

Chartered in 1955 to serve employees of Olympia Brewing Co., the credit union now serves the entire state of Washington.

“Credit unions were founded to serve the unserved,” Jenni Roberts, SVP/COO of O Bee, said. “Members told us they were thinking of getting into recreational marijuana and asked us to look into it.”

For those members, it wasn't just a matter of passing the pipe. They formed the vanguard of a newly legalized recreational marijuana industry and needed support from a financial institution to grow businesses designed to serve this emerging market segment, Roberts said.

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