MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) Local businesses that sell CBD products say they are having issues getting financial institutions to work with them.
One of those businesses is Beyond Full Spectrum.
Beyond Full Spectrum recently opened their second location in Whitefish Bay. Their first is in Waukesha. That location opened in December.
“We went to a credit union, Summit Credit Union, which was highly recommended by all the credit unions,” said owner Aleksander Gerasyuta, “We applied for the account, the account got approved, and I wanted to make sure that the account could stay active because everything, all the financials we rerunning through that account. We were given basically a promise that the account would stay active no matter what.”
But earlier this month, Gerasyuta said they received a phone call, and a few weeks later a letter, saying in part that their account was opened in error and that Summit Credit Union “does not offer accounts to anyone whose primary business involves marijuana, industrialized hemp, CBD oil, etc.”
“The first thought was, this must be joke, and unfortunately it was not,” Gerasyuta said.
In a statement, Summit Credit Union CEO and President Kim Sponem said:
Summit Credit Union has always championed the small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the communities we serve. While the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the industrial sale of hemp, individual states need to develop some type of certification that will be recognized by our regulators as meeting our regulatory criteria for compliance. To do so without that, financial institutions are under significant risk of being out of compliance with state and federal financial institution laws.As a financial cooperative, we must guarantee we’re in compliance with financial institution regulations and state/federal laws to ensure we’re in the best interest of our collective membership. Unfortunately, it is our understanding that we cannot legally consider serving businesses that produce and/or primarily sell hemp or CBD products until the oversight program is in place. Summit Credit Union, in collaboration with the Credit Union League of Wisconsin, looks forward to working with lawmakers to create a pathway to serve this market in the future.
CBS 58 spoke to half a dozen other CBD business in the Milwaukee area who say they have also experienced some kind of banking issue due to what they are selling.