Safe Harbor and CanPay Launch Statewide Cannabis Banking in Hawaii

13 Sep

Cannabis Banking in Hawaii

In an Unprecedented Move, Banking Partners and Regulators Come Together to Provide Access to Financial Services for Cannabis Businesses

LITTLETON, Colo.Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — CanPay, the first legitimate debit payment solution for the cannabis industry, and Safe Harbor Private Banking, the leading compliant banking program for cannabis businesses, today announced banking services and cashless payments are available statewide for Hawaii’s cannabis businesses. This marks the first time banking partners, regulators, and cannabis licensees have worked together to bring banking solutions to a previously unbanked legal medical marijuana market.

Despite 29 states and the District of Columbia approving medical marijuana laws, cannabis businesses and their entrepreneurs encounter barriers that no other industries face: access to bank accounts at a federally insured financial institution and the ability to accept cashless payment methods. With today’s announcement, those obstacles no longer exist in Hawaii. Together, Safe Harbor and CanPay are able to increase convenience, transparency, and security for both dispensaries and their patients.

Hawaii cannabis businesses will be on the newly automated Safe Harbor platform. Under our supervision, we’ll methodically work with a financial institution in Hawaii to ensure safety and soundness as they integrate accounts into their portfolios. Our collaborative work with Hawaii’s Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Iris Ikeda, the Executive Director HEALTH, Kerry Komatsubara, and our partnership with CanPay, has resulted in a legitimate and efficient way for medical marijuana licensees to do business and safely serve their clients,” said Sundie Seefried, Safe Harbor’s CEO. “Our cannabis banking compliance program, created and tested in the Colorado market, is now being installed for the cannabis industry in Hawaii, and as in Colorado, will keep the citizens of Hawaii safe as the state launches legal cannabis.”

Safe Harbor banks more than $1 billion in compliant cannabis funds annually and will be providing banking services to all eight licensees in the state. CanPay is currently available in close to 60 dispensaries across seven states.

“Removing cash from the equation leads to a more transparent and legitimate way to do business that’s both convenient and secure for all involved,” said Dustin Eide, CEO of CanPay. “Through the lengthy collaboration between ourselves, Safe Harbor, and the tremendous individuals in Hawaii’s legal cannabis market, these dispensaries are now able to operate as closely as possible to businesses in any other industry.”

The transition to bring legitimate banking and merchant services to the Hawaiian market has been underway for nearly a year and involved collaboration between top financial regulators, officials, and financial partners from across the country. Like many state cannabis marketplaces, special circumstances in Hawaii meant special solutions were needed to sufficiently bank the industry.

“The arrival of banking and payment services for the cannabis industry in Hawaii will enable dispensaries to reduce or eliminate cash sales, which will help keep these businesses much more secure,” said Kerry Komatsubara, Executive Director of the Hawaiian Educational Association for Therapeutic Healthcare (HEALTH). “The cash-only precedent in this industry is less than ideal for customers, employees, and the general community, so having alternative options available really does change how we do business for the better.”

With no access to traditional Visa and MasterCard payment processing services, CanPay steps in to provide a convenient alternative to cash-only transactions, proving compliant banking and merchant services do exist throughout the US for cannabis businesses. Similarly, Safe Harbor has established itself as the leader in cannabis-specific compliant banking programs, filling the void left as larger financial institutions continue to give the industry a wide berth due to its status at the federal level.

To learn more about CanPay, visit

To learn more about Safe Harbor, visit

About CanPay
CanPay is the first debit payment solution for the state regulated cannabis industry, currently serving consumers and businesses in WashingtonColoradoCaliforniaMaineFloridaOregon, and Hawaii. Through the Closed-Banking Feedback Loop, CanPay partners with select financial institutions that have developed stable, compliant banking programs specific to the cannabis industry. By delivering a traditional and legitimate electronic payment solution to this growing yet highly-regulated industry, CanPay allows retailers and customers the convenience of a debit payment while mitigating risks and costs associated with cash transactions. To learn more about CanPay, visit

About Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor Private Banking, a Denver-based division of Partner Colorado Credit Union, is the leader in compliant cannabis banking. Concerned about the risks a cash-based industry poses to public safety and in keeping with the credit union philosophy of serving the underserved, Safe Harbor plunged into cannabis banking determined to take money off the streets and to offer law-abiding businesses a solution. CEO Sundie Seefried devised, tested and launched the cannabis banking program in 2015, which has withstood the scrutiny of federal and state regulators, earned praise from legislators and industry leaders and garnered national attention in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and Reuters. As a pioneer and advocate, Sundie authored a groundbreaking how-to book, Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis Banking in a Time of Uncertainty as a primer for other bankers considering a similar program and for policy makers and regulators eager to bring stability to the marketplace. Safe Harbor now serves 100 cannabis businesses and has banked more than $1 billion in deposits. For more information, visit


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