Partner Colorado Credit Union launches its first cannabis business lending program

The program will first be available to the bank's 500 plus private banking clients
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Partner Colorado Credit Union launches its first lending program for cannabis private banking clients.

“Now in our sixth year of cannabis banking, we have the experience and knowledge required to evaluate risk.  Our Board and management team believe that a slow, methodical approach is our best risk mitigating strategy,” says Sundie Seefried, CEO of Partner Colorado CU. “The first loan products are real estate loans for properties that contain an existing structure, including new loans and refinances.  We’re making the cannabis business lending program available first to our 500 plus private banking clients who have a combined cash flow of over $200 million per month.”

Long term client Stan Zislis of Silver Stem, a medical and recreational cannabis company, was one of  the first private banking clients selected to participate in the lending program.  “Lending means jobs to us,” Zislis says.  “Real estate lending is one small step toward full-service banking, but it is a very important first step.”

Partner Colorado CU President Doug Fagan described cannabis banking as, “A  highly specialized and labor-intensive process. The credit union stepped up to offer cannabis businesses legal banking services at a time when many cannabis companies were trying to operate as cash businesses.  Partner Colorado CU created remarkably detailed processes and procedures to meet the tough legal requirements of cannabis banking.  Then, we trained private bankers to become experts capable of determining if cash generated in a cannabis business is legitimate.  We now have the systems, expertise and right team in place to begin expanding our banking services into lending.”

David Michel, partner and general counsel in IGadi, a vertically integrated cannabis grow and retail operation, is a long-term Partner Colorado CU private banking client.  “There is a high level of scrutiny, cannabis firms must account for each dollar. Finding an experienced banker who fully understands the industry is critical to success,” Michel says.  He sees the Partner Colorado CU lending program as a welcome step toward a wider portfolio of cannabis business lending products. “The real estate loans will help us eliminate leases, which in turn helps us build wealth over the long term,” he says.

About Partner Colorado Credit Union

Partner Colorado Credit Union was founded in 1931 as Denver Postal Credit Union.  Today they are a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative with assets over $500 million and more than 35,000 members.  In 2014, the credit union established Safe Harbor Private Banking to serve the cannabis industry.

About Safe Harbor Private Banking

Safe Harbor Private Banking is a compliance-based banking program for the cannabis industry, and a division of Partner Colorado Credit Union. Safe Harbor Private Banking processes allow legal cannabis businesses to bank cash.  Each dollar is validated, transparent and accountable for legitimate licensed entities. Safe Harbor pioneered the turnkey program to help keep communities safer and stay true to the credit union philosophy of “serving the underserved.”

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