Nova Scotia & Royal bank cut off marijuana businesses

When did banks decide to discriminate?

 Nova Scotia & Royal bank cut off marijuana businesses


Nova Scotia & Royal bank cut off marijuana businesses because?

According to CTV News here in Canada, on September 11th they announced that they will no longer support small businesses in the marijuana industry. According to this article, they said:

Scotiabank and the Royal Bank of Canada say they aren’t providing accounts to companies associated with the marijuana industry, leaving some business owners scrambling to find alternate arrangements.

Can someone please explain this to me.  This is not like the decision that Shoppers Drug Mart made many years ago where they stopped selling tobacco products in their store.  THAT made sense.

Lets first ask these banks, who are your other customers?  Consider the Police, Firemen, and Veterans who suffer from PTSD who use Medical Marijuana.  Patients who are using it to fight unbearable pain, Cancer sufferers, children with extreme epilepsy who are also using Medical Marijuana.  What message are you sending to them?  Some of these small businesses sell paraphernalia and have done so for as long as I remember.  Why are you cutting them off now?  I do not see big Pharmaceuticals that produce drugs like Oxycontin having an issue with their banks.  You know the drug that  1 in 8 deaths are contributed to according to another CBC article.  Or what about the companies that make Fentanyl.  A drug that has killed 200 people in three months.  According to this article from the National Post which states

An alarming number of drug overdose deaths in recent months has prompted B.C.’s chief health officer to declare a public health emergency.

On a side note, my sister died because of a Fentanyl patch prescribed by a Doctor after she had bunion surgery!!  The patch gave her an overdose.  Just another death to a legal narcotic.  The police posted this photo to show people that the problem is REAL and is getting worse every day.   This is NOT marijuana, this is the drug made by large Pharmaceuticals companies that you DO support.

Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal bank cut off marijuana related businesses

This is the reality of Opiate addiction

On the other end, there is the financial end.  Marijuana will be legalized next year in Canada, that is an election promise.  Large companies such as Tweed, Aphria to name a few are anxiously waiting the news and their profits have shown the profitability of this industry.  Check out Tweed which goes under the name of Canopy Growth or Aphria from Leamington, Ontario.

Wait, is it the small businesses that you are targeting or the Marijuana industry as a whole?  According to the article the bank wrote to Hemp Country owner Nathan MacLellan.  Were they targeted because of drug charges in the past?  The article reads:  Cheryl MacLellan, 56, former owner of Hemp Country in Woodstock, was charged with producing a schedule II substance other than marijuana.

In a 2009 story exploring the use of medical marijuana, which MacLellan has a licence for, MacLellan said she became disillusioned with what she refers to as “drug wars” during her time as a police officer.

In another article the owner Nathan MacLellan was interviewed and said:

“It’s kind of an insult,” he said. “It was an out of nowhere thing. We’ve been doing business with them for 10 years.”

While the letter did not state a reason why the bank was cancelling his account, MacLellan said a representative of the bank did stop by the store and apologized for cancelling the bank account.

The person said the bank had deemed his business “high risk” due to the fact he was selling cannabis and hemp-related items.

“It’s almost a double standard — they are singling me out as an individual business based solely on a definition,” he said. “Even though next year we are moving towards legalization on a national level — suddenly I am a high-risk industry.”

From this article the response from Scotiabank was:

“Scotiabank is committed to ensuring our customers are protected and that we manage risks soundly while making prudent business decisions. We consider our stringent risk management practices a key strength of our business, “ wrote manager of reputation and issues Kate Simandl in an email. “This is why the bank has taken the decision (to) close existing small business accounts and to prohibit the opening of new accounts for customers classified as marijuana-related business….we will monitor the ongoing development in the industry and will review our position should there be significant change to the legislation or regulation in the industry”.

Nova Scotia & Royal bank cut off marijuana related businesses

My question is,  what business will want to use the Bank of Nova Scotia or Royal Bank based on their decision today.  What about your present customer base who see this as discriminatory, and targeting small businesses only in an industry that is being legalized next year.

Can someone please tell explain this to me?