Saying ‘yes’ to marijuana money, new bank comes to Florida
Where the big banks say no, Justin Costello is saying ‘yes.’
Foreseeing “a multi-billion dollar industry here,” the head of Seattle-based GRN Funds says his firm has come to Florida to offer banking services to the state’s medical marijuana providers.
It already handles about $500 million in deposits for clients in the cannabis industry on the West Coast.
Costello, its chairman and CEO, was in Tallahassee last week to meet with state financial regulators “strictly as a courtesy.” (As a bank, his firm is federally chartered and not regulated by the state, he says.)
Accompanying him on that visit was Jeff Sharkey and Taylor Biehl of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida, “facilitating an introduction to state policy makers,” as Sharkey put it.
“We just wanted to let them know what’s happening,” said Sharkey, who also operates the Capitol Alliance Group. “We thought it important that they understand the right way to do this … There are millions of dollars in cash going around out there.”
Costello says he already has nine marijuana banking clients signed up in Florida, whom he couldn’t name because of confidentiality regulations.
Medical marijuana providers around