Aloha Alliance,

As we move ever closer to the opening of Hawai‘i’s first medical cannabis dispensaries, it will become more important than ever that the industry engage with a secure, trusted banking solution to provide security to the dispensaries, the ancillary businesses, and the patients as well.  This can only be accomplished through the provision of accurate information to both the medical cannabis industry and the banking industry so that the members of both can begin to figure out ways to work together. A first step along this road is the recent work of local lawyer Stephen Pingree.

Featured in the August Edition of the HDA Industry Update, money laundering regulations expert Stephen Pingree, recently brought this issue again to the attention of the industry and the general public – because there is still no complete local banking solution available to dispensaries on all of the islands. In his article reintroducing the issue, Stephen discusses the reticence of banks to accept accounts from businesses related to the marijuana industry and provides an outline for how businesses should approach the banking system in the future to maximize their chances of creating a positive relationship. You can read his whole article here!

Following up on his article, Stephen appeared on Think Tank Hawai‘i with local business guru Reg Baker to discuss the relationship between local banks and the medical cannabis industry, and to talk about foreign banking as a potential temporary solution for the industry in Hawai‘i. Visit the link above to watch a very interesting dissection of the banking, tax, and criminal issues relevant to the medical cannabis industry.

All of this is leading up to an informational seminar conducted by Stephen Pingree for the medical cannabis industry in Hawaii. Stephen is uniquely qualified to speak on this issue as an Anti-money Laundering Expert who routinely leads similar seminars throughout the Asian-Pacific region. HDA will be sponsoring this event in October, with additional information coming soon. Let us know if you are interested and what specifics you would like to see addressed at the seminar!

Stephen P. Pingree, J.D. is an attorney who specializes in Federal Financial Crimes (Money Laundering, tax evasion) defense and teaches AML courses. Steve is also the Asia Region Marketing Director for AMLAware LLC, providing AML online courses throughout Asia. He is always available to advise and counsel MMJ businesses regarding State Regulatory and Federal legal issues. Steve can be reached at

It is the Alliance’s mission to provide up-to-date and relevant industry information to the patients, dispensary applicants, and related businesses of Hawai‘i’s growing medicinal cannabis industry. If you are not yet an Alliance member, join today to receive the HDA Industry Update every month and to take an active role in the future of Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana industry. Contact us today and we will send you the April 2016 edition of the newsletter absolutely free to say thank you for your interest! You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter.

HDA Member Stephen Pingree Featured on Industry Banking Issues