Credit union to work with Alaska marijuana business in pilot program

Published: Nov. 29, 2018 at 9:47 AM AKST
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A major credit union announced Thursday that it would be working together with Alaska marijuana businesses in a new pilot program.

At a press conference at the Credit Union 1 headquarters on Abbott Road in Anchorage, the company announced it will soon be coordinating financial services for Marijuana Related Businesses, or MRB's.

That pilot program will offer services to marijuana businesses that include accounts, deposits and withdraws, and eventually hope to set up payroll operations.

If successful, the pilot program could usher in a new era for pot shops to transition away from solely cash-based operations into a more traditional pay structure.

In a press release held until after the conference, CU1 said, "The lack of financial services for MRBs, however, has flooded our streets with cash resulting in a community safety issue." CU1 said it doesn't take a political or moral position on marijuana, but instead seeks to meet the needs of all members.

Credit Union 1 is a state-chartered financial cooperative founded over 66 years ago in Anchorage. Representatives from the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board and the State of Alaska Tax Division made statements in support of the pilot program.

KTUU's Victoria Taylor contributed to this report. This is a developing story.