Rest assured that the cash that patients pay at local medical marijuana dispensaries doesn’t end up under a mattress.
“We do have a bank,” said Jimil Wilson, chief financial officer for Maitri Medicinals, which operates Fayette County’s only state-approved medical marijuana dispensary in Uniontown.
So does Washington County’s only medical marijuana dispensary, The Healing Center in Washington.
The leadership of both dispensaries is aware of the common misconception that they are cash-and-carry operations because marijuana is still illegal under federal law even in states that have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes.
But the banking services available to them come at a steep cost, in part because a single bank has cornered their market.
Both use a bank based in New Jersey for their cannabis banking.
“That’s because they’re the only ones that really want to take it on,” said Chris Kohan, cofounder of The Healing Center.
Kohan estimates that the same bank handles about 90% of all marijuana banking among Pennsylvania marijuana businesses.