“The big banks won’t even look at you. It’s as if you weren’t there.”

This is what Ryan Roche had to deal with when he approached banks to secure accounts with them as he began operating Lake City Cannabis’s two pot stores in Alberta.

He recalls the frustration and deep disrespect he felt from major Canadian bank representatives as he tried to engage them in accepting his business. They weren’t interested at all, Roche remembers, and so he began to talk to credit unions.

“But they wanted to charge us $500 a month just to work with them, and they wanted to continuously monitor everything we did, up and down, left and right,” he says, adding how Lake City eventually secured accounts with Calgary-based ATB, an independent government-owned…

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