The announcement by Fluresh, a vertically integrated Michigan based cannabis business, of the closing of loans from a federally insured commercial bank totaling almost $50 million represents an important landmark for both Fluresh and the cannabis industry writ large. For Fluresh, perhaps as important as the bottom-line benefits of lower cost financing, the fact that its operations and financials passed muster with a substantial commercial bank can be regarded as an important rite of passage. For the industry, it reflects its inexorable movement out of the shadows and into the mainstream. This substantiates the view that, whether or not any of pending the federal legislation is enacted, bank lending to the cannabis industry will continue to accelerate.
While a number of mega banks are stubborn holdouts, and whether or not there is a formal change in bank law or regulation, this transaction is further evidence supporting the belief that more and larger banks are entering and will continue to enter the market. Each one that does both paves the way for and draws others in.
Of equal, or perhaps greater significance to the industry than the direct impact on increased access and cheaper money on the operating results, are the intangible, "out of the shadows" implications of these trends in the ongoing process of propelling it "into the mainstream," the potential significance of which likely extends far beyond banking.
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