US (PA): "We can't just go to the bank and get a loan"

Despite the growing acceptance of medical cannabis and the introduction of a bill earlier this year to legalize adult-use cannabis, companies that grow or sell cannabis still face special challenges.

For instance, Calypso Enterprises, an Erie-based company, still cannot do business with one of the numerous federally chartered banks in Erie, because cannabis is still illegal at a federal level. Therefore, the banks would risk charges of federal money laundering for doing business with a legal cannabis grower. 

Luckily, there are a few options for those companies, including a handful of state-chartered banks that work with the legal cannabis industry, said Neal Devlin, a lawyer for Calypso. However, commercial loans are a different matter: "We can't just go to (the bank) and get a loan," Devlin said. "That is why you are seeing more unique funding sources." 

That explains the announcement last week from Connecticut-based NewLake Capital Partners, which has provided the Erie company with a $30 million loan. The money will be used to pay for a 50,000-square-foot addition to Calypso's grow facility. 

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