Alaska credit union to serve marijuana businesses

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A credit union is launching a pilot program to begin serving marijuana businesses in Alaska, giving the cash-reliant industry a financial option after banks shunned the industry.

Credit Union 1 announced Thursday its move comes with no political or moral position.

CEO James Wileman says safety concerns were a significant factor, and would keep large amounts of cash off the streets.

Because of the federal prohibition on marijuana, most banks and credit card processors won’t service marijuana businesses.

Kelly Mazzei with the state’s tax division says the agency supports the move as a time-saver.

Anchorage attorney Jana Weltzin says many of her Alaska marijuana business clients are excited about an opportunity to participate because it would free them from having to keep so much cash in their homes or vehicles.