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E115 - Peter Su - Banking on Cannabis

With a film credits in Dr. Strangelove, Conan the Barbarian, Coming to America, Field of Dreams and The Hunt for Red October and off-screen credits in many Shakespearean stage roles, two Tony awards, military service, Ranger School and his Ranger Tab, there would be so many conversations to have with James Earl Jones. But over and over, fans just clamored for the catch phrase, “Luke. I am your Father.” Peter Su’s “catch phrase” is writing for Rolling Stone. He loves the gig. But as a banker with over 24 years experience, who can paper a wall with his credentials, he is occasionally annoyed that is all people want to talk to him is the Rolling Stone. So, of course, we ask him about writing for Rolling Stone. Also listen for why Trevor’s fictitious New York State licensed, legal cannabis dispensary could be laundering money, how your Mandarin speaking parents have a literal language barrier to understanding why you want to start that cannabis business and the Asian Cannabis Roundtable.

Friday, 27 October 2023 15:13

Meet our guest

Peter Su

Research Links

Music By

Taiwan MC - Let the Weed Bun
Desiree Dorion
Marc Clement

(Yes we have a SOCAN membership to use these songs all legal and proper like)

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Episode Transcript

Trevor:  Kirk we're back.  

Kirk: Hey, how are you doing?  

Trevor:  I'm doing well, so I don't know if it's quite wound down yet, Kirk, but you've been involved a lot of culture day stuff in Dauphin. What are some of the cool things you've been doing.

Kirk: I’ve been having a lot of fun last month. I've been involved with the Prairie Lightning presentation where we did a podcast challenge with two podcasters challenging each other in a slide show. I did some improv. I did some storytelling at Northgate, Northgate trails. Yeah. No, I've been very involved. Of course, Fringe Master for Yard Fringe. It's been a very good 30 days and you're into playing hockey now three days a week, three nights a week.

Trevor:  Yeah, it might be getting a little silly. Yes, they're all with fat old man, which is good. But you know. I haven't played before, last year, I haven't played hockey three nights a week since I've been in high school, so you know, might be a little over ambitious, but gets me out of the house. I'm an empty nester now. I should do something. But yeah, it certainly makes me a little sore the next day at work.

Kirk: I imagine three days a week. Wow, good for you. So, we you brought me Peter Sue.

Trevor:  I did. So another guy, sort of met, slash stumbled into on LinkedIn. So if you remember a ways back we were talking with David Traylor. So David's on the investment side of banking. So you know you've got an upstart CBD extraction process, you know, maybe someone like David Traylor’s company and Golden Eagle investments come, or Golden Eagle Partners comes in and invests in you. But what if you are? What if you are a dispensary in New York, in New York State? So, New York is a legal state. You can do adult use. You should be able to, you know, just like opening up a coffee shop, you know you're going to need to have some savings accounts to put some money in and to hold until you make payroll. You're going to need some loans, you know, especially at the beginning when you're starting a business because you know, you probably have to buy a building, or lease a building and get equipment. And so you need some, take out some loans, like every business on the planet, you're going to want to have to deal with credit cards. So, this all takes a commercial bank. And that is surprisingly hard if instead of a coffee shop, you now have a cannabis dispensary. So that's kind of where I got into chatting with Peter and it's not as easy as it should be in Canada, but it is definitely more difficult in the US.

Kirk: Ya he is an interesting dude. He's got he's got certifications up the Ying Yang. He seems to be very qualified for working within the banking industry and cannabis. It is interesting that you know you've got 38 states that have legal medical cannabis and 28 states, 23 states that have recreational cannabis. But there's money being passed and being put into banks. So, the state may say that cannabis banking is legal, but the federal government sees cannabis as a schedule one drug, so it's money laundering.

Trevor:  It is money laundering, so as and we'll let Peter talk about it more as he gets into this better but almost no matter what you do as a business, a cannabis business, you theoretically, at anytime could have some federal agency come and shut you down. So again, they, not surprisingly, if you were a bank and banks are by nature conservative because and we want them to be, they go hey, if I start doing business with this dispensary, you know, theoretically a federal regulator could come in, and shut down the bank for dealing with this money laundering operation.

Kirk: Yeah, I think, I think the banking regulations in the states is much different than the banking regulations in Canada. Not only do we have federally legal cannabis, so that, you know, banks are able to deal with this, cash flow. But I believe also, we have federally, I think all the banks have federally regulated, so unlike the States I think you can be a state regulated bank well. Like you can have private banks in the states.

Trevor:  And I asked Peter about that and we'll come up to it. But he said, you know, even if you were a completely within the state of New York Credit Union did no Interstate commerce, still theoretically a federal regulator could come in and you know, yank your charter. So it.

Kirk: Yeah, it's interesting. We should. We should just get right into them. And talk about it after.

Trevor:  OK, so let's listen to Peter Su and then we'll chat about it a little more at the end.

Peter Su: Thank you for having me on, Trevor. My name is Peter Su, a long-time banker, 23-24 years in banking or so and my last couple of stops, I ran cannabis banking program.  So started at the local programs for bank in New York. Work, you know, build it from the ground up to like I dare to say  toone of the larger programs in the country, I then was recruited over to, I didn't run this program, but it was one of the, it is now the largest program in the country and that's a huge program, billion dollars plus maybe three $400 million of lending. I then, bounced around a little bit as a consultant. Essentially, helping banks and credit union that wanted to bank in cannabis that was helping them install, implement, manage a cannabis program and now I am with Hanover Bank where I am building my third cannabis banking program. The fact that I'm, oddly proud of.

Trevor:  No, it's very impressive.

Peter Su: So that's me. I'm on the banking and financial side of the business. I'm the treasurer of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable. I'm an advisory member for the minority Cannabis Academy. So it's keeping, you know, banking, financing, related type of ballot. And I write for Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council so on the business, and again, I try to stay in my lane is more about the business financing banking, things like that.

Trevor:  And we will eventually get to the Rolling Stone because, well, I'm going to joke with Kirk, our Co-host that you know this interview is to make him jealous. Kirk has been reading Rolling Stone for 40 plus years, so the fact I'm interviewing someone who's written for Rolling Stone... haha Kirk. But let's start with banking, because that is kind of your expertise. So and north of the border in Canada, it is not as easy as it should be, but for those who don't know, why is it so difficult for somebody, a company let's pretend I have a dispensary.  I've got a legal dispensary in a legal state. It's not necessarily that easy for me to, you know, have bank accounts, have credit cards, that kind of thing in the US and what, why is that?

Peter Su: Yeah, sure. It's a good question. And actually, believe it or not, that the answer is very simple. So, forget about the bank for a second. If you are a cannabis business, I'm in the state of New York. If you own a legal dispensary, a state license, legal dispensary here in the state of New York, what's stopping a federal agency, any federal agency from coming in here and closing down your business? Not much. Now, if you have a medical program, you know perhaps offers you some level of protection with regards to that. But if you're, you know it's all used again, the answer is not much. So really the same dynamic unfortunately exists on the banking side. If I'm banking, quite frankly a federally illegal business. What's stopping a federal agency? So in my case would be FDIC. I mean you you can name it FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve. What stops them from coming here and punishing me for it? You know, censoring me, fining me, taking away my charter, et cetera. Again, not much. Now on the banking side. Believe it or not, we do actually have some level of guidance and protection, if you will, which is one of the critiques against Safe Banking, right. When Safe Banking first was introduced, now, to be fair, it was first introduced 10 plus years ago. So 10 years, 9 to 10 percentage banking it's clear that it's not the low hanging fruit that people thought it was. Right, but that's what Safe Banking would have done. Safe Banking would have said, well, let's offer you a safe harbor protection. You the bank, the credit union, your banking, what is now a state legal business. We're solving the discrepancy between the federal and state law by saying you're good, we're not going to punish you purely on the basis of banking in cannabis. So that's a long answer. The reality is, is that the financial system that the regs, the laws are heavily predicated on preventing that from happening because it is federally illegal thus its considered money laundering.

Trevor: That’s fascinating. And I'm sure very frustrating. . So let's, move from there to, well, actually let's stick there for a second. So, you're setting up your third banking system. What are you doing differently than your competitors or what are you willing to do or where are you sticking your neck out that other people are kind of not willing to, not willing to go?

Peter Su: Listen, let's be fair, publicly traded, federally insured State Chartered Bank, right. So what are we willing to do? I mean, look, we are a publicly traded federally regulated insured State regulated bank. So banks will behave a certain way and won't behave in other ways. So the reality is, you know, we're an average, you know, commercial retail bank. We're not going to go crazy and do, you know, wild things. That said, what are we willing to do? Well, for me the separation is mostly psychological believe it or not. It's the stigma of cannabis so, as I mentioned before, on paper there is a clear paper risk, right? Black and white, federally illegal. That said, we are in a position now 38 states have medical programs, 23 have adult use. It's estimated around 500,000 people are employed by the legal cannabis industry. So the question is, the fear is, if I was to do a financing on this building where there's a dispensary, what's stopping a federal agency from seizing that building? Again, not much.  That said, as I mentioned, 38 states, 23 adult use, etcetera, etcetera. Is it truly the political will to do that?

Trevor: Would it be less risky as are called a financial institution if I was a purely within Colorado? Well, you're New York. If I was purely within New York Credit union, you know, I have no branches, no dealings outside the state of New York. Cannabis is legal within the state of New York. Would I still have to fear? Might not be the right word, but still be concerned about federal regulators. If you know I am, I'm dealing with a business customer who, she's running a dispensary in New York. I'm a New York credit union. There is no Interstate commerce of any kind that either of us. To do with the financial institutions still have to be worried about federal regulators?

Peter Su:  yeah.

Trevor: Of course, of course, of course.

Peter Su: Well so this goes to the heart of what we're talking about here, right? Like the reality is we have something called federal supremacy. So, you know Federal law trump's State law. So again, is there anything stopping a federal agency from coming in here, shutting down the legal cannabis business, shutting down a bank that is banking in legal cannabis business, on paper, not much. So, to answer your question about banking, one of the concerns today is not that banking isn't available, but believe it or not, we have an agency, called Financial Crime Enforcement Network, which is a function of the Treasury. So the federal banking regulator, they actually track a statistic of what they believe to be the number of financial institutions providing financial services to the industry. And they say that number is 700 ish. It's like 695 actually, I believe.

Trevor: That's a lot

Peter Su: That’s actually alot. Think about that. We have 10,000 roughly 10,000 financial institutions in America. So just under 10% which sure, a very small percentage. So the vast majority of our institutions are not willing to bank Cannabis. But if it's 700 across the state, that's actually plenty of banks, but plenty of institutions rather. Now, most insiders agree that that number is way too high. It's because of how they do it. They track it based on what costs are suspicious activity report. The issue with how they do it is that there is no textbook definition for what is and what is not a cannabis business. So let say for example this show right we Reefer Medness, if you guys had an LLC. Reefermed at LLC, your institution, your banking institution would or should file a SAR on this podcast. On this show.

Trevor:  OK, even though there's been no sale, anything cannabis related.

Peter Su: Correct, correct and keep in mind, the institution is maybe sensitive. You would err on the side of caution right. There's no law to file a report. That was not necessary. There is a law, if you file a report. If you did, if you fail to file a report. So that's why the number is so high, because everyone will just say it doesn't matter. You know, it could. You could be 4 steps removed, five steps removed. You could be a tech provider. You could be a doctor prescribing. You know you. Could be a pharmacist that that took a class.

Trevor:  OK.

Peter Su: If your institution gets wind of it, they most likely will file a SAR. Thus, it amplifies that number and then most and as you probably know a lot of cannabis businesses, there's multiple layers, right. There's multiple entities involved in just one license. So imagine if all those entities are banking at different banks. Now you've got, you know one company that's taking up four or five, six different reports. Most insiders agree that the number is way smaller. We believe it's closer to like one, maybe 150. Now divide that across the country, and yeah, you're talking about a handful of in any given state. Which we largely see sort of prove out in real life. So if you were to Google it, for example, if you're in California, you start Googling Cannabis friendly banks, yeah, you get 2, 3, 4 options, let's say. So again, multiply that across the country sounds about right. Here in the state of New York, anecdotally, I figured there's about 10 again across the entire.

Trevor:  In the banking capital of the US, there's only 10.

Peter Su: Yeah. So sounds about right. But anyway, kicking it all back to the original question, which is well, that's the stigma, right? Because when I say stigma like, again, on paper it is a pure absolute risk. You can't mitigate it, but if I went to my attorneys, you are my attorney and I said, Trevor, can I do this, tell me that I'm good if I bank Cannabis. You would not be able to produce me a legal doc, legal opinion that says, oh, absolutely, don't worry. Now that said, 10 years into Cannabis banking right, like if we look at the statistic, no bank, no credit union has ever gotten fined for Banking Cannabis. Specifically, have never done a Charter pulled. No one has been shut down, no one's been fined. There was one credit union in Michigan's. I want to say four years ago or something like that. That was specifically cited for a cannabis banking program, but even in that scenario they were not told to stop banking cannabis. They were just told they weren't doing it well enough. So in banking, we call the consent letter. So your regulators say you're doing a bad job managing your bank. We can, we will consent to you to continue operation provided you do you know X,Y and Z. And so in their case, in that case of this Michigan Credit union and a federal, so the NCAA, the National Credit Union Administration, so a federal level banking regulator did not shut down the cannabis program. They said you're not doing a good job at it.

Trevor:  As much as I feel for the cannabis business owner. Yeah, banking is understandably a conservative business. I can see why. I can see why a bank would be nervous. Let's swing away from banking for a second and we'll go over to some of your, let's start with how does a banker end up in Rolling Stone? Let start there and then I'm going to quiz you about some of the articles. You know, maybe, maybe not things you know that literally have podcasting in the title, but let's start with. How does the banker end up writing for Rolling Stone.

Peter Su: So Trevor, before I answer that question, this is a little bit of a funny thing for me. So again, 20 plus years in banking, I feel that I had some accomplishments. I've done some brand divisions. I have a lot of licenses, designations, no one cares about any of that. No one has ever asked me about any of those things,

Trevor: of course not,

Peter Su: They ask about The Rolling Stones, right? I'm sorry, I apologize that I have a crappy answer boring answer I applied.

Trevor:  That is good enough. That’s hope for the rest of us, maybe the rest of us could end up in Rolling Stone too.

Peter Su: I applied. I was vetted, I suppose. And you know they accepted it.

Trevor:  Excellent. So and we'll definitely put links to in the show notes, but you've got all sorts of, you know, Evolution of pre rolls, We've got cannabis technology. We've got, you know, cannabis should take a page from music's playbook, but the one I want to talk about right now because, you know, might be a little self-serving. But I don't care. Connecting beyond boundaries, how podcasting can help marketers in the cannabis space. So, you know, let's say somebody had a podcast. How can we, how can we go out there and help the cannabis industry, the cannabis space.  What do you think is a relationship between podcasting and cannabis business?

Perter Su: I'm glad you asked that, Trevor. Well, actually, so for a period of time, I tinkered with the idea of starting a podcast myself and, you know, felt for my former employer, we started going down this road and a lot of what I came up with and I'm assuming you know this. I do believe that podcasting is about a relationship. You are forming a relationship with your audience. People tuning in because they like you. They like your guests. They like the subject matter, you know, things like that. Right. And that is so central to the idea that article, which is, well, that is such an authentic way to build your brand. If a brand decided, hey, you know what, Trevor showed has the right demographic. You know, he's got the right hosting mentality, you know, for what I'm looking for. And I do think that's really important. Influencer, you know, for lack of a better word, is all about your brand. So your personal brand. Your ability to deliver the message that a particular brand might want and there needs to be alignment. Let's be honest, right, cause you might be saying crazy things, right? Like this is. I'm not suggesting you do. I'm saying that

Trevor: not often, not often.

Peter Su: So yeah, that is the driver behind the article and in cannabis especially right now anyway, there's limitations to what you can do. What you can say. Advertising rules are very strict, like podcasting gives you a relatively free platform to pursue that because these are just, you know, sort of opinions being expressed. I could definitely see a brand that are hiring you to interview people to talk about, you know, which you know. I don't want to sound like we are skirting the law, but, you can't talk about indications you can't talk about oh, this will definitely do this or this will definitely do that however, if someone is expressing their personal experience. Yeah, I took CBD and this happened for me. That's allowed. So that conversation, like what you and I are doing right now is really powerful. I think for a brand, for a product.

Trevor:  I'm definitely cutting out this clip and emailing it to every cannabis company I can think of. Thank you. That was fantastic. We might circle back to Rolling Stone, but just because you're involved in so many interesting things, tell me about the Asian Cannabis Round Table. What is it and what does it do? And I think you're on, I think you're on the executive somewhere. Tell me a little bit about that.

Pewter Su: Well, thank you for the opportunity to talk about it. So, Asia Cannabis Roundtable was started by Kristen Jordan who, you know she is a noted figure in Cannabis. She keynotes a lot of our conferences. Our meaning cannabis industry conference. She has done a variety of, you know, very key positions in the industry, ran a real estate portfolio for one of the big MSOs, was an in House council for the MSO. So really seeing both sides of the business, heavy duty advocate, she actually started sort loosely, you know informally. Just her and her friends. Heavily East Coast based. And they were just hanging out. But when I came along, what her and I talked about was, you know, it turns out, there's a lot of Asians in Cannabis right, but there were no groups that really wanted to represent that voice really wanted to sort of insert the Asian voice at the table, if you will. And we thought that there would be a place for an affinity group like us to and insert that Asian voice represented, if you will. Amplify it as much as possible and also on the flip side and I don't know if you know this, the Asian stigma against cannabis is actually very strong.

Trevor: Like within the Asian community.

PeterSu: Especially the older generation. So I'm Chinese. I'm from Taiwan originally. So we speak Mandarin and you might find this interesting. So, in English, you have the word drug, which could be medicinal, or it could be narcotic. But in Mandarin we have the word medicine and the word that we use for narcotics is poison.  

Trevor:  All right, so pretty cut and dried. Which one's good, and which one’s bad.

Peter Su: So in other words, as a Mandarin speaker, you would grow up referring to marijuana as poison. So, imagine what the parents feel like, what the grandparents feel like and now what they pass down to their generation. I have a friend who is a licensed holder and an Asian cultivator, licensed cultivator here in the state of New York, and again this gentleman has a license. He's growing Cannabis, and he can't talk about cannabis at home. Like he had to make that deal with his wife. Like you want to do this business, go for it. But I don't want you bringing this home.

Trevor:  That's, you know, we talk, we talk about stigma in cannabis all the time, but literally having the word for it be poison or poison jacent or whatever what we call it, that's a new level of stigma. I would have never guessed.

Peter Su: So, you know, and the irony, of course, is that I think most scientists agree, like cannabis originated in Asia.

Trevor:  That what some of our historians have definitely said on previous episodes.

Peter Su: And so that irony is not lost on us, meaning the leadership of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable. We wanted to change that stigma, right? We want to make it OK for the next generation that want to work in cannabis to not feel like, oh, I can't, you know. I'll work here but not talk about it.

Trevor:  That's a lofty goal. That's excellent. So, who's in the group? You know, you're a banker. You said that the head is a lawyer. Do you have, like, medical people? Do you have users who's part of the round table?

Peter Su: We do. Yeah. you know, it's funny, we realized recently, so race aside, because of course it's heavily dominated by Asians. Asian Americans. Race aside, we're actually a very diverse group. We have a number of board members that are direct licensee. So we're talking about licensed cultivators, license retail. We have, you know, a lot of business oriented so, bankers, attorneys, professional services, so. From a disciplinary perspective, whereas most affinity groups, I feel like if you were to approach any of the other affinity groups, their subject matter expertise will be advocacy. They can talk about policy, they can talk about advocacy. My group can talk about anything you like. You want someone to come and talk about the science? We have a couple of licensed pharmacists. We have no shortage of medical personnel in the Asian community. You know, we have business people. We have financing experts. And again people that are that are recognized experts in a particular field. We even have as our Board of advisors, Doctor Chen is the medical adviser to the state of New York on the cannabis program, part of the Advisory Board for our OCM. Senator Clooney is on our Advisory Board. So he heads up the cannabis. I forget the name, but our New York State Senate has a cannabis subcommittee of which Senator Cooney sits on. So, I mean, a really strong group that has a diverse range of disciplines and knowledge and skill.

Trevor:  That does sound like an impressive group, so now I promise to keep this to about half an hour and we're pushing up on the edge of it. And you've done so many other interesting things. How about I'll end with. Is there anything I forgot to ask? Anything you wished I'd asked or that the listeners really need to hear about? You know, cannabis and your interesting background with it.

Peter Su: Well, thank you. Well, I guess I would leave with this. I think that this banking topic has become almost urban legend status, right, because people feel like, oh, there's no banking available, right. And of course, you hear about Safe Banking, you know, it's been hammered as a topic. The reality is that today a cannabis business looking for banking would be able to find competent banking. Now the next stage sort of the next battleground is the lack of capability, efficiency anyway in capability, capacity and cost. And so what I would like to leave with is, well, I actually think the dynamic is shifting. You know. The power dynamic now is more on the business side. So as a business owner, as the cannabis business today, if you're looking for banking, you're looking for financing know that it's out. There and that it's OK to almost shop for it. I guess it's the term don't feel like you're stuck. Oh, I gotta pay $10,000 a month for a crappy checking account. No, there's better options available out there now.

Trevor:  Kirk, any anything jump out at you from our chat with Peter.  

Kirk: Yeah. You know what really jumped out on me is the fact that there's absolutely no case law in cannabis banking in America. Meaning case law, is inferior law. Meaning that when you get charged, for a crime usually they go back to the inferior laws and the case laws around your case to decide how past courts have decided on issues. So, we have a federally Scheduled One drug that banks are dealing cash in. And so it's federally illegal to move cannabis and buy and sell cannabis in the states. But there's what 700 ish.

Trevor:  Depending how you count it, something between 150 to 700 but a significant number.

Kirk: Yeah, but essentially there is no motivation of the federal government whatsoever to do anything with cannabis banking. But yet, it's illegal. So they have no they have no precedent. They have no case ever that anybody's been charged, found guilty or fined for a cannabis infraction in banking. I found that interesting.

Trevor:  Me too. And because I'm surprised the first thing that didn't leap out at you. So, Kirk Peter writes for Rolling Stone. What did you think? What do you think about that?

Kirk: Oh yeah, yeah yeah, that is cool. You are correct, I've been subscribing to Rolling Stone magazine for a long, long time. Many decades. And I did go looking for his articles in the magazine. He's an online writer. So his articles were all found online. They're not within the magazine yet, but the magazine has really quite changed. It's no longer the rock'n'roll magazine, it used to be. They've updated themselves.

Trevor:  It's all about the articles, man. And we'll, like I said, we'll put some of these in the show notes. But no, he's like he said, he sort of he stays in his lane about the business end of things because, you know, that's where his expertise is. But, quite serious about thinking I'm going to take some excerpts out of there about Peter saying how what a great idea is to advertise on a podcast because you know the personal relationships we can develop with the link between the customer and the brand. You know, that was just.

Kirk: We've been saying that forever that a podcast would be a wonderful place to advertise cannabis. Yeah heard that too. I listened.

Trevor: and then not that you can't jump in again. But I want to throw this in because you know, we talk about stigma a lot and you know, we talked about stigma in banking and how getting around that it's actually, you know, towards the end, Peter said it's probably getting better you know, it might not be super easy to get a bank if you were a gummy manufacturer somewhere, but you probably can and what he's actually saying now instead of just looking for a bank or a institution. They can shop around because it's slowly, you know, at 150 that should still be a handful of institutions in every state. But the big stigma and really kind of caught me off guard was in Mandarin there are sort of two words for Cannabis. So, medicine is one word and cannabis is actually another word that's synonymous with poison. So when you're, you know, talking about to your parents about cannabis, you're saying, yeah, you know, I'm in a poison selling business. So you know, that's a stigma I had never even thought of.

Kirk: I completely agree. I thought that was amazing, that little bit of cultural understanding about cannabis being and diagnosed as being poison in Mandarin, that was very curious. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, mom and Dad, I got a job as a budtender. I'm selling poison.

Trevor:  Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that's. And he even said he has a friend, you know, an official grower with a license who just, you know, the common ground we've come to is I'm not going to discuss this whole and keep everybody happy. We'll just we'll ignore what you do from 9:00 to five.

Kirk: It is interesting what's happening down in the states, you know now with Biden basically saying that he

Trevor:  wants to decriminalize, I think. What was his official line,

Kirk: Yeah, he wants to decriminalize cannabis, but so they've got the Safe Banking Act going on down there and it passed the House of Representatives and they've now got a new Act that they've added to it. So, it's I think it's only a matter of time that, America has federal laws for cannabis.

Trevor:  And we hope so because you know why shouldn't they? It's de facto part of the business culture now.

Kirk: Is there anything else popped out on you?

Trevor:  No, no, I really enjoyed this one. And you know, nice wide-ranging interview again about stuff I had no idea about, but no, I really enjoyed chatting with Peter. Anything else for you?

Kirk: I was thinking about the Victoria compassion

Trevor: Cannabis buyers club?

Kirk: Well, you know and how they are basically they are having a problem with banking because they are not a dispensary. They're not seen as a clinic, so it's very difficult for them to do banking because they don't fall under any laws in Canada. And they're still, they're still in the middle of that $6.5 million fine that they had for selling cannabis illegally, so we are still having banking problems in Canada and that goes to the whole thing about medicine versus recreational cannabis so.

Trevor:  Yeah, and in a way the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club is not that different than that dispensary in New York. Because what they're I'm not saying are agree with this, but they are in an illegal entity like they don't fall into, you know, a recreational store. They don't fall into a medical clinic. They're in their own zone. And as far as I can tell, in the eyes of the law, that is not a legal zone. So, you know if you are not a legal business, well, you know banks don't want to have anything to do with you. So yeah, it's still something to be solved even on this side of the border.

Kirk: Yeah, there's there are real issues around cannabis

Trevor: got anything else?

Kirk: No that’s about it, I think

Trevor: well, I guess we should do our usual end of episode thing now. I'm Trevor Shewfelt. I'm the pharmacist.

Kirk: I'm Kirk Nyquist. I'm the Registered Nurse and we are Reefer Medness - The Podcast found that If you like our podcast, please tell a friend and maybe rate us on your platform. And if you want to offer us a cannabis story, you can send us cannabis stories. We're always interested in little cannabis stories.

Trevor:  Yeah, another good one. We'll talk to everybody later.