Billions of dollars flow through the legal cannabis industry every year, much of it cash by necessity, and financial institutions and Wall Street want in. In the U.S., the fear of regulations and reputational damage is continuing to keep many investors out of this market. But that isn’t the case everywhere.

Over 30 states have legalized medical or adult-use cannabis, yet most licensed businesses struggle to keep a checking account open, let alone find a traditional business loan. The federal prohibition on cannabis continues to remain in effect and the rules have become murkier for banks and financial institutions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented changes, and it is still unclear what his departure from that position means for cannabis enforcement across the country.

In Canada, financing cannabis is a different story. When Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray chose to raise capital through the sale of $450 million of 5% convertible senior notes, Bank of America Merrill Lynch joined investment firm Cowen and BMO Capital Markets as a bookrunner to make it happen. The bonds will go to help build the business and pay off debt. Other Canadian cannabis companies have been able to find reasonable loan and note rates through other companies as legalization is more thorough than the state-by-state approach.

Private Financing

U.S. cannabis companies, however, are having to turn to private financing options, which may have higher interest rates and may include other expectations. Banks and investors are eager to be a part of this multi-billion dollar industry, but most haven’t yet found a way with the current laws.

And the bigger the industry gets, the more it will need these financial players to scale. A Massachusetts-based producer valued at $4 billion managed to raise $400 million in a private placement initial public offering. Before the offering, many banks approached them eager to help but were ultimately unable to get approval for the cannabis client.

It’s not all about the law of the land, however. Every financial institution or investment firm has a reputation to uphold to maintain its prestige. Investing in cannabis could be seen negatively by other, and there is a fear that this can hinder future growth. Some firms go so far as to ban their staff from working with cannabis-related clients. Other companies are less stringent in their rules, but their staff are often met with resistance from legal and executive leadership teams when attempting to onboard new cannabis-related clients.

How to Find a Cannabis Business Loan

Though traditional institutions may not be on board to provide loan services for cannabis businesses in the U.S., private financing is available. We have partnered with private lenders who are interested and able to provide business loans to cannabis-related businesses. Applying is quick and easy, and we’ll take care of the heavy lifting for you — no piles of paperwork! You’ll work with a qualified loan consultant to help you through every step. These loans can be tailored to your business’ unique needs and are accessible to most credit types. Apply today to learn more.

About the Author: Brian Ellis

With 6 years' experience in business journalism, Brian is the person we turn to for anything related to the business of cannabis. His news coverage spans topics including marijuana business and finance. Brian's work features on,, , and