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For the general director of hemp, bags of cash, armed guardsmen and nourishing banks: NPR



The work of Tom Dee Girovia as Chief Financial Officer of Canndescent Company involves managing cash bags in millions that need to be counted, and then dragged in armored cars.

Devan Schwartz for NPR


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Devan Schwartz for NPR

The work of Tom Dee Giowa as Chief Financial Officer of the Canndescent company involves managing cash bags of millions to be counted and then dragged into armored cars.

Devan Schwartz for NPR

As a rule, the work of the Chief Financial Officer involves the revision of the balance sheets and statements from the bank. But in the pot business, this work still has a lot to do with illegal trade – transporting cash goods under the watchful eye of large guys who carry many guns.

Just ask Tom Digitia. and Ernst & Young, a former accountant, leans toward an unmarked armored van, where there is a metal cage to protect profits for his company, Canndescent, from potential thieves.

"During the month, we probably have $ 2 million in cash, which is in a certain state of transit," he says. By the end of the year, expected to top $ 4 million, which would mean more armored vans and heavily armed guards.

"They have a holster for the ankle joint, and the other – in the small back, and they wear tactical outfits," says Giovanni. "It's very crazy."

Digitized looks like Ray Leotti's brother, with the night-club picker's building. He says he likes to live on the edge – at least in business. This is good because aspects of his work feel more like a gangster than a pencil pusher.

Marijuana is legally medically or recreationally in 33 states, but it is still illegal under federal law. And although many enterprises entered the new gray market, the financial services industry did not. No large US banks will open accounts for companies like Canndescent or its retail customers.

Banks will not lend to the cannabis industry, so much money that Canndescent used to build their home that grows 27,000 square feet came from friends and the seven owners.

Devan Schwartz for NPR


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Devan Schwartz for NPR

Banks will not lend to the cannabis industry, so much money that Canndescent used to build their home, growing 27,000 square feet, came from friends and the seven owners.

Devan Schwartz for NPR

Last month, the House Financial Services Committee perfected legislation that would allow banks to serve the cannabis industry.

Anti-cannabis groups oppose the bill and legalize in general. They argue that legal trade is a threat to the health of the population, which prevails over tax breaks.

The West has 157 bipartisan sponsors. But while it is not going to complete the chamber and the Senate, every aspect of DiGiovanni's work will endanger additional risks and costs – from insurance, to paying employees, to tax filing.

It is estimated that 300 US financial institutions serving the potash industry are small, government customers or credit unions. They are often checked and transactions are carefully monitored for suspicious activity. Business cannabis pays thousands of monthly payments only at the expense of

Devan Schwartz for NPR

Canndescent grows and sells premium bundles to retailers across California. Most of them pay for cash in cash.

Devan Schwartz for NPR

Two years ago the infection destroyed the hydroponic beds of Canndescent seedlings. But the crop insurance was not available for marijuana, so the company with a loss of $ 600,000.

Most of the funding for hemp farming comes from individual investors. Canndescent built its home on an area of ​​27,000 square feet in Desert Hot Springs, California, mainly at the expense of money from friends and the seven founders. it's $ 20. Counting all of this money is pain and it's difficult.

"It's three to four hours a day when they stand in front of a car, feeding money." And it should be calculated three times, in an unknown place, after each transfer – a process that we do not have the right to see. "He is again transported on an occasional schedule to our processing plant, which is in another city, which I will not call," he says.

Martin, co-founder of the Cannabis Wire news site.

"Because this is, in essence, only cash enterprises, they become seated ducks for robbery, theft and such things," she says.

Banking is the biggest challenge facing the industry, she says. "I do not think I talked to anyone who did not have bank headaches." He says that better access to banks will help him grow faster and hire more. And, in the long run, raise even more tax revenues for the government. But until then, he will continue to move a lot of money about the bulletproof vans under the cover of a secret.
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