Marijuana Business Magazine - January 2017

Sundie Seefried Colorado Credit Union, CEO ; Safe Harbor Private Banking, Chairwoman Age: 56 BACKSTORY: Seefried’s credit union handles about $80 million in monthly legal marijuana business deposits. How did she accomplish that? Seefried passed up retirement to see how her credit union could solve what she saw as a local community problem: marijuana busi- nesses being forced to rely on cash, leaving them vulnerable to theft. Consulting with bankers, lawyers and cannabis business own- ers, Seefried developed a marijuana banking program – dubbed “Safe Harbor Private Bank- ing” – based on rigorous compliance with the Obama-era Cole Memo. In 2017, she took her “Safe Harbor Private Banking” program and transformed it into a company with the same name. Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arkansas have all been testing the new company’s program. WHY TO WATCH: Seefried hopes her Safe Harbor company will serve banks in about 20 states in 2018. How well the new company’s approach works or doesn’t work - and whether banking regulators will allow it to exist – will start to become clear. BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: “In addition to maintaining the safety and soundness of the credit union,” she wrote in an email, “we will be focused on bringing education and cannabis banking options to other financial institutions, allowing them to bank the industry and keep their communities safe, as we've done here in Colorado.” Michael Steinmetz Flow Kana , CEO Age: 34 BACKSTORY: Flow Kana, a San Francisco distributor that specializes in craft-grown marijuana, looks different than when Steinmetz launched it in 2015.Then, Steinmetz used technology and delivery drivers to bring cannabis grown by small farmers directly to consumers, spearheading a marijuana farm-to-table movement. Since then, Flow Kana has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in early 2017 it bought an 80-acre property in Northern California that was the former home of Fetzer Wines. Steinmetz plans to transform the property into a campus serving small growers. WHY TO WATCH: The January launch of California’s newly regulated marijuana market has fanned fears that small farmers will be forced out by “big marijuana.” Steinmetz aims to ensure that doesn’t happen by giving small growers a place where they can bring their crops for dry- ing, curing and trimming – a process he said accounts for about 60% of growers’ costs. Steinmetz hopes to use this cooperative model to prove that small cannabis farmers can compete and be profitable. BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: “As California transitions into the adult-use recreational market in 2018, Flow Kana's top priority is to help small cannabis farmers survive this evolution of the industry,” Steinmetz wrote in an email. “What we’ve seen in other states is the default vertical inte- gration; but we are building a model that builds a healthy supply chain, while also supporting and serving the small farmers and the legacy that they have been cultivating for decades.” 68 • Marijuana Business Magazine • January 2018