Evans Bank Rolls Out Cannabis Checking Accounts to Western New York Entrepreneurs

If there’s one universal truth every cannabis founder can agree on, it’s that banking is a massive pain point. For those of us who have navigated this industry, the financial side often feels like walking a tightrope—balancing the need for transparency with the very real risk of revealing too much. The introduction of Evans Bank’s new cannabis checking accounts marks a significant turn of events for entrepreneurs like myself, operating in New York’s cannabis sector. This development promises not just a new product but a new era of partnership and understanding.

Banking has been more than just a nuisance of entrepreneurs like myself; it’s been a blockade. After my accounts were shut down for the second and third times, I reached a breaking point. The solution? I hired a successful merchant services business to help me navigate this labyrinth. We reverse-engineered a follow-up system that, while legal and effective, was convoluted and completely ridiculous. It involved setting up corporations in states known for their corporate-friendly laws, among other costly and elaborate strategies.

The financial gymnastics didn’t stop there. Once we managed to secure high-risk merchant services—which was no small feat—we had to maintain a delicate balance, always cautious, always playing it safe to avoid another shutdown. The stress and the overhead of managing these hurdles were enormous and took focus away from growing the business.

Communication is fundamental to effective business operations. The launch of Evans Bank’s new cannabis checking accounts opens up an inspiring new chapter for those of us on the ground floor of the cannabis industry. For years, straightforwardness about our business activities could inadvertently lead to financial repercussions. Now, with a bank that’s equipped and willing to support our specific needs, it feels like we’re finally stepping into a new era of transparency and mutual respect. This change is not just operational; it’s transformational, signaling a profound shift towards genuine partnership with the financial sector.

Evans Bank sets itself apart with a commitment to educating the banking sector about the cannabis industry. By initiating open dialogues, they are setting the stage for more informed banking practices and empowering entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary for success. During the demo, the Evans bank team repeatedly mentioned, wanting to go beyond merely offering new financial products. They are committed to educating the cannabis industry about banking, and the banking sector about the cannabis industry. By fostering open dialogues and understanding, they are setting the stage for real a partnership.

This initiative by Evans Bank could be the beginning of a significant shift in how financial institutions view cannabis businesses. For entrepreneurs, it means an end to the days of ‘creative accounting’ and the high costs of operating under constant scrutiny. More importantly, it signifies a move towards normalized relations with the financial world, where cannabis businesses are no longer outliers but legitimate enterprises.

Reflecting on my journey, the headaches, the moments of uncertainty, the shoeboxes (no shoes in ’em) and now being invited to the product demo and introduction of these checking accounts, feels very a vindicating. For the cannabis industry in New York and beyond, Evans Bank’s decision to provide tailored banking solutions is not just a win—it’s a historic leap forward towards acceptance and inclusion.