The CannaBeat Podcast – Commercial Lending to Cannabis Businesses Is Alive w/ Robert Goebel of North Bay Credit Union
North Bay Credit Union was a pioneer in providing commercial banking services to California cannabis companies. According to, NBCU’s Robert Goebel, the reason is simple: “We were formed as Sonoma Grains Credit Union[.] We were formed to help farms and agriculture and to us, cannabis is another crop.” NBCU’s banking platform for cannabis companies is called Higher Growth. Recently, NBCU launched a commercial lending program for cannabis companies.
For years the absence of commercial lending has hurt cannabis businesses and hindered expansion. When companies could find loans, high interest rates and fees often burned through the principal. Cannabis companies commonly pay 30 or even 40 percent interest. The lack of commercial banking and lending equates to a heavy tax on these businesses.
To date no consistent or reliable alternative financial system exists to alleviate the lending issue. But that’s not a barrier for NBCU, which is now lending to state-legal cannabis companies in Washington, Oregon and California. On this episode of The CannaBeat Podcast, Robert Goebel, NBCU’s Chief Lending Officer explains why NCBU is opening this line of business (even in the absence of a federal or state legislative solution); what borrowers can expect; and, how he sees the program expanding in the future.