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Sun Oct 20, 2019, 06:21 PM

$500,000 In Weekly Pot-Selling Cash Is Boon For Sterling Heights Credit Union

Though the topic is serious and the revenue is real, Crain's can't resist starting with a wink and a smirk.

"Growing like a weed" says its headline atop a report on what a suburban Detroit credit union chief executive calls "the best business decision she's ever made." Paragraph one also has wordplay:

Sterling Heights' Live Life Credit Union doubled its assets in the past 10 months all organic growth.

More than $500,000 in cannabis money is deposited weekly at the institution, which is the exclusive reason its assets have ballooned to $26 million.

Live Life made the decision to provide banking services to the state's legal cannabis industry just over a year ago amid a shaky regulatory framework and excessive risk.

The credit union, tucked into a Van Dyke Avenue storefront next to a health clinic, has 100 cannabis-related accounts among its 1,400 depositors, writes senior reporter Dustin Walsh.

But capitalizing on cannabis isn't easy. The institution is buried in the burden of compliance as it walks the fine line between lending and laundering.

"It's been an adventure," [CEO Karla] Haglund said in the back office of her strip-mall credit union. "The reporting is strenuous and complicated. . . . A few of us have basically been working around the clock for the last eight months, but it's been worth it."

Read more: http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/23463/500_000_in_weekly_pot-selling_cash_is_boon_for_sterling_heights_credit_union

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