Tim Smale, owner of the Remedy Compassion Center medical marijuana dispensary in Auburn, said his business has been bounced from bank to bank over the last few years - including one bank he wouldn't name that, because of his involvement with marijuana, shut down a personal checking account he had used for 20 years.
Tim Smale at Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn. Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer
, who owns Remedy Compassion Center
, a medical marijuana dispensary in Auburn, says he
has periodically received notices that the bank account for his
business is being closed because it is selling pot.
"Those are unimaginable ways to operate a business," he
Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer
Smale, the Auburn dispensary owner who is president of the Maine Dispensary Operators Association, said banking is also stressful and challenging for the operators of Maine's eight dispensaries.
Most - if not all - have had bank accounts canceled and must accept only cash from patients, he
At least once a year, Smale
gets a letter or phone call from his
bank notifying him that his
dispensary's account is being closed because it sells marijuana.
Each time, he
forced to scramble to find another bank willing to take on his
"It's been miraculous timing for us to always have a bank when we needed one.
There have been times when it's been very frightening to face the possibility that we can't do payroll or pay our vendors or have to pay our monthly sales tax in cash," Smale