A couple of Canada’s biggest banks won’t be associated with the marijuana industry in any fashion, saying they won’t open new accounts and will cancel existing ones.
Scotiabank and Royal Bank of Canada concluded it was too risky to be in business in the growing pot industry, even though it appears the drug is moving towards legalization in the country.
Royal Bank confirmed their severed ties with businesses in the industry that produce or sell weed. Scotiabank is even more adamant against the industry; a CBC News report found the bank canceled an account with Hemp Country, who doesn’t even sell or produce the plant – they simply sell related paraphernalia.
“It’s kind of insulting really, especially when legalization is right on the horizon,” Nathan MacLellan, Hemp Country owner, said to the CBC in an interview. Hemp Country had been a client of Scotiabank’s for a decade.
“Nothing in the store that we sell is illegal. Every single variety store sells pipes and bongs nowadays, so why are they singling us out all of a sudden?”
In response to the shift from marijuana businesses, a Scotiabank spokesperson says the decision “stems from a reassessment of our risk management practices. While we strive to be the bank of choice for our small business clients, and we are proud of the strong relationships we have built in all of our communities across Canada and abroad, we must balance that with our commitment to effectively manage all business risks.”