I am a UW MBA grad with 12 years of small business management. I am considering starting a fund/ company that will provide financing to the budding marijuana business in WA since FDIC money will be difficult to come by. No pun intended.
What regulations or hoops would a company of this nature need to jump through? I am more concerned about the general idea of small business lending vs. the industry in particular.
Todd, this is a great question, but it is definitely to complex to address all the issues potentially involved. I would recommend you talk with the SBA or other like service, SCORE, to get a sense of all the issues that you will be facing. Then, I would suggest you use the find lawyer tab to locate an attorney in your area who can help you. Many attorneys office a free initial consultation where you can find out your legal rights.
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Real Estate Attorney
I agree with the previous answer and lending can be difficult and after you follow the great steps suggested by Mr. Hall you will need to find out if you will be governed by the State Department of Financial Institutions or just how you will secure the loans with tangible collateral. You should also refresh yourself on the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 known here as RCW 62A-9A for secured transactions.
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Elder Law Attorney
Todd: This is excellent. I think you may be aware that regulations are being revised as we speak to open up the traditional banking avenues to marijuana growers and sellers, though. It would be useful for you to consult with the attorneys who already assist these clients in their business transactions, dealing with municipalities, negotiating their leases, etc. to find out how you could continue to offer a unique service to these clients that traditional banks cannot or will not after the regulations have changed. I know of at least two attorneys who have such clients and truly enjoy working with them and helping them navigate the maze of federal, state, local laws and regulations along with negotiating traditional contractual issues for them. I wouldn't seek out SCORE or SBA. I would work with those attorneys who, by the way, are ethically prohibited from acting as their clients' funding source.
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