US (NM): Cannabis industry has only a couple banking options in New Mexico

Verdes Foundation, one of New Mexico’s largest medical cannabis companies, is set to open its first Santa Fe shop at the end of November, and it plans another new store in the city in 2022 when the state will launch legal sales of adult-use cannabis.

The company, which now operates in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, will not be funding these expansions with bank loans. “We self-capitalize our growth,” Verdes CEO Rachael Speegle said. “We don’t borrow any money.” That is because no traditional banks or credit unions in New Mexico lend to cannabis businesses. Only two -Southwest Capital Bank and U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union - openly accept account deposits from the industry. Both are considering cannabis lending in the future, top officials said.

The New Mexico Finance Authority also wants to create a $5 million loan fund for cannabis micro business operators, but the proposal stalled in mid-October. So far, 36 states have legalized medicinal cannabis and 18 have approved cannabis for adult use, with New Mexico sales expected to begin in April. A push to legalize cannabis at the federal level also has been gaining momentum, but the banking sector has still been reluctant to serve cannabis businesses.


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