As the marijuana industry grows, cultivation and dispensary owners have to find a way to safely move their money. A Desert Hot Springs company, Hard Car Security, is now helping businesses safely transport money and product. The company uses highly secured armored vehicles to pick up and deliver product. Todd Kleperis, the CEO or Hard Car Security said cash is a major problem for those in the marijuana industry. "We have dispensaries that are clients of ours that make millions of dollars in an average month, and they have a hard time moving that money because who wants to have a million dollars in the back safe of your office?" he said.
Kleperis said the industry is mostly cash because marijuana is still illegal federally. "Banks won't take anything that is related to cannabis," he said.
Greta Carter, the CEO of High Road, a company that helps people break into the marijuana business, said carrying cash is a major safety issue. "We see people get robbed and killed for $1,000 on the street, but yet you will see these cannabis businesses with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. If we had banking like every other traditional business does, we would not be the target," Carter explained.
Tony Rivera, the COO of VetsLeaf, a new grow facility coming to Desert Hot Springs said it can be difficult when they are just trying to follow the rules. "It is frustrating. We're trying to get everything done the right way, but sometimes you just have to sit and wait," Rivera said.
Carter hopes marijuana banking will get easier. "That's the business banks are in right? Is the money business, so they're going to open their arms to us, but it's going to be cautiously," she said.
Until then, the demand for Hard Car Security keeps growing. "We've been able to manage this process and get it through to bank with the federal government and through a credit union in California to be able to transport that cash," Kleperis said.
Hard Car Security said the company will be expanding. It is run entirely by veterans.
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