US: "Fintech lenders go big on cannabis industry"

Los Angeles investors are puffing up the cannabis fintech industry, providing funding workarounds for companies that have historically been denied access to conventional finance.

West Hollywood-based cannabis fintech lender Bespoke Financial announced on April 13 that it had entered into a strategic partnership with the Calabasas-based PayQwick, “the cannabis industry’s most comprehensive treasury and financial services platform.”

Bespoke, the first fintech lender in the country to provide debt financing to cannabis companies, said in a statement that the partnership would create a compliant one-stop-shop for cannabis businesses, allowing them to access Bespoke’s lending products and PayQwick’s invoicing, electronic bill pay, armored cash car pick-up, wire transfers, and other financial services.

In a phone interview with the Business Journal, Bespoke Financial founder and chief executive officer George Mancheril said the lack of access to traditional financial services such as deposit accounts and lines of credit have ranked among the cannabis industry’s most significant roadblocks. Thanks to cannabis’ Schedule 1 status, operators in the cannabis industry haven’t had access to even the most basic benefits of banking.

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