Safe Harbor Financial was conceived in 2015 as a solution to a major problem that plagued the nascent legalized cannabis industry in Colorado– access to reliable and compliant financial services. Once SHF addressed the local Colorado issues surrounding lack of banking and industry participants became banked, clients started seeking out of state licenses; leading SHF to a national presence and the establishment of a national foundation that enabled SHF to solve the same issues on a national level. As a result, Safe Harbor presently processes funds from 20 different states nationally.
Safe Harbor, realizing the funds from the cannabis industry were better banked than unbanked, ventured forward to do the right thing for everyone, bank the deposits under Partner Colorado Credit Union as a DBA up until 2021. Cannabis related funds were already finding their way into the financial system one way or another via hidden, misrepresented accounts and criminal banking behaviors similar to money launderers. After great research, it was obvious that every agency wanted to have accountability and transparency from the industry, but legislation was not supportive of such.
Safe Harbor, based upon their research determined that it was the right thing to do to protect the financial system from criminal activity and provide legitimacy to the legal operators at the same time. A high-level compliance program was created at the highest level of the organization; using decades of regulatory experience to create a safe and sound program that would accomplish industry accountability and protect the financial system. The program encompassed all types of cannabis, hemp, CBD and ancillary service providing entities to include cultivators, retailer, manufacturers, payroll companies, payment processors and professionals serving and taking cash from the industry.
Since inception, Safe Harbor has processed over $12 billion in cannabis related funds into the financial system with the highest level of monitoring and validation. SHF has successfully completed 16 state and federal exams without interruption to providing reliable financial services.. The Safe Harbor portfolio is composed of nearly 600 accounts; managed by 13 private bankers. The portfolio was built in a methodical manner to ensure continuity of service while under great regulatory scrutiny. Annual deposits/cash flow in 2021 were approximately $4 billion. Safe Harbor has enjoyed a great track record of securing and retaining clients with their existing value proposition. The process of obtaining an account is difficult due to BSA regulatory requirements; making for a good long-term relationship.
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