The majority of states have legalized our favorite plant for medical use and many have legalized it for recreational use as well. But it remains listed on Schedule 1 of the Federal Controlled Substances Act which is why most banks and financial institutions refuse to do business with these companies viewing their businesses as too high-risk.

The most logical reason that banks and financial institutions refuse to work with legal medical (or legal recreational) marijuana businesses is due to the high cost of maintaining a safe harbor compliance program for these high-risk entities. As a dispensary, you will jump through hoops to do all the right things to be compliant with state and local law but you’ll still find few choices for common banking functions like credit card processing, credit lines, insurance, payroll ACH, and even just maintaining a business check account.

This creates a variety of problems for dispensaries as they lack access to common financial services to collect revenue or process dispensary payroll. In fact, as of June 30th, roughly 700 regional banks and credit unions are providing banking services to marijuana-related businesses. The lack of access to banking services has forced many owners to conduct mainly cash transactions, making their business even more challenging to efficiently operate and monitor. A scary statistic is the fact that 40% of Colorado green businesses lack bank accounts altogether.

A good place to start moving toward mainstream financial services is by choosing the right payroll partner. A great payroll partner for dispensaries can make introductions into an ecosystem of legal compliance, insurance, employee benefits, HR, and banking services that are green-friendly and don’t cost an arm and a leg.


Luckily, PeopleGuru specializes in green payroll and HR, fully understands your industry’s unique needs, and can help you with an end-to-end solution for all of your employee needs.

We offer safe harbor compliant banking options, so your dispensary employees get paid without the risk of soon being canceled as a client because an audit identifies your firm in a “high risk” industry.

In addition, as part of our HCM software, we help businesses like yours recruit and onboard new hires. This allows you to grow your organization and manage other dispensary and agricultural HR operations without having to worry about payroll compliance.

In addition to Payroll and HR software solutions, our HCM SaaS includes administrative services!

Some of the many services offered by PeopleGuru are:

  • Federal, State, and local tax filings
  • Check printing
  • Year-end W-2, 1099, ACA, 1095, preparation, printing, and mailing
  • New hire reporting, wage garnishments, and more

PeopleGuru is proud to partner with dispensaries and we will be there to help your business be compliant and successful, gearing up your organization for exponential growth!

This blog post was written by Alexa Rivera and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru’s express written consent.