Why the mortgage industry remains closed to legal cannabis workers

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a three-part series on mortgage lending to workers in the legal cannabis industry. Read part two and part three.

There is an emerging industry that employs as many as 230,000 workers and is expected to create over 283,000 new jobs in the next three years. Its businesses have a net worth of $7.2 billion, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 17%.

Those kinds of numbers would usually prompt financial institutions to go out of their way to establish a market foothold, both to extend credit to companies and establish consumer relationships with employees — particularly when the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects traditional sectors like utilities, agriculture, manufacturing and even the federal government to shed jobs through 2024.

But this budding business is the highly controversial legal cannabis industry that, so far, mortgage lenders and other

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