Report: 74% of Virginians are likely to support cannabis banking services

The cannabis industry is quickly taking shape — and it is happening right here in Virginia.

The Commonwealth recently established the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority and legalized the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana. The Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight has since discussed the possibility of expediting commercial access and legal sales. Could this be a turning point for Virginia’s cannabis industry?

The numbers are compelling: consumer attitudes and voter support for cannabis businesses have created a $17.5B market nationwide, with sales expected to reach $41B by 2026. The latter figure is nearly the size of the U.S. craft beer industry, which generates $1.9B every year in Virginia alone.

A recent poll conducted by Virginia-based Blue Ridge Bank and ENGINE Insights found that 74% of Virginians are likely to support federal legislation that loosens restrictions on cannabis banking, and 39 percent of Virginians are likely to use a bank that offers business loans to cannabis businesses versus one that does not. The results included responses from 1,000 Virginia residents between the ages of 25 and 54.

74% of respondents said they are likely to support federal legislation that loosens restrictions on cannabis banking. (source: ENGINE Caravan Omnibus Survey, August 2021)

“Virginia’s cannabis industry as a whole is still very much in its infancy and has enormous potential to become a major economic driver,” said Brian K. Plum, President and Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ridge Bank. “It was fascinating to see in the survey results that so many Virginians prefer to work with banks that support this type of business. We believe that cannabis businesses will become major employers throughout the Commonwealth, so we’re trying to stay ahead of demand.”

39 percent of respondents said they are likely to use a bank that offers business loans to cannabis businesses versus one that does not (source: ENGINE Caravan Omnibus Survey, August 2021)

Blue Ridge Bank has been working with cannabis businesses since 2018, serving the banking needs of capital companies and hemp businesses such as Elkton-based Pure Shenandoah.

CBD product sold by Pure Shenandoah, photo courtesy of Pure Shenandoah

The seed-to-sale company last December invested $3.3M to establish an industrial hemp fiber processing and cannabidiol (CBD) oil extraction facility in the historic Casey Jones building in Elkton. They have since created dozens of local jobs as they expand their product line, which currently includes federally-compliant, third-party lab tested CBD oils, smokable hemp flower, hemp fiber, and more.

“Blue Ridge Bank has been there for us since day one,” said Tanner Johnson, CEO of Pure Shenandoah. “In a new, emerging industry, it would’ve been a very hard path without their help.”

Are you a cannabis business looking for a new banking partner? Contact [email protected] to learn more about Blue Ridge Bank’s MRB financial services, or visit www.mybrb.com.

About Blue Ridge Bank

Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, Blue Ridge Bank, National Association, provides a wide range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, payroll, insurance, card payments, wholesale and retail mortgage lending, and government-guaranteed lending. The bank provides commercial banking services to customers located throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Visit mybrb.com to learn more.

 

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