Dama Financial (“Dama”), the nation’s largest provider of access to banking and payment solutions for the cannabis industry, recently conducted a survey of operators across all cannabis-legal states regarding their concerns and struggles.

When asked what business issues or challenges keep them up at night, more than half of respondents (55%) cited either robbery or employee safety as their top concern, while a quarter said the looming threat of a bank account shutdown is their main source of worry.

Many cannabis operators aren’t aware that engaging transparently with the banking system is an option, so they either function entirely in cash, which puts themselves and their employees in danger of theft, or they aren’t honest with their bank about the nature of their business — and thus risk having their account get shut down.

“More than half of respondents to our survey cited either fear of theft or employee security as their top concern, yet nearly 6 in 10 said they operate entirely in cash, and close to 7 in 10 say they haven’t opened a bank account,”  said Anh Hatzopoulos, co-founder and chief executive officer at Dama. The risk of crime will never be entirely avoidable, but it can be reduced significantly by engaging transparently with the banking system, utilizing cash management tools, and implementing consumer payments products that remove cash from operations.”

According to a press release distributed by Supernova Women last November, in just one week armed robbers in Oakland, Calif. forced their way into more than 15 licensed cannabis businesses.

Compliance also emerged as a concern among operators, with 70% of respondents stating they have a hard time navigating their state’s regulations around operating a cannabis business. “The results confirm that cannabis owners need help navigating the rules not only around banking, but around operations at every step of the supply chain,” said Hatzopoulos. “CRBs that don’t implement systems and technologies to maximize both operational and regulatory efficiencies are going to have a hard time surviving as the industry becomes more competitive.”

Dama recently announced plans to acquire GrowFlow, whose business management and compliance tools have processed more than $3.3 billion for cannabis retailers, cultivators, processors, and distributors. The combinations of Dama’s fintech and payment solutions and GrowFlow’s software platform will offer operators a comprehensive platform that fulfills the business needs and regulatory obligations of any licensed cannabis business — across all verticals — everywhere cannabis is legal.

About Dama Financial
Based in South San Francisco, Calif, Dama is the cannabis industry’s leading provider of access to banking and financial services, powering safe and secure depository solutions, as well as business tools such as cash management, payroll and electronic consumer payment solutions, for top licensed cannabis operators. The company was founded in 2017 by a team of world-class fintech and payments executives to provide high-risk industries with critical access to fundamental financial services. Dama has leveraged its experience in other unbanked categories to develop solutions, driven by its proprietary technology platform, capable of navigating a complex web of regulatory and compliance requirements. The company experienced more than 100% top-line growth in 2021. More information is available at damafinancial.com.

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