The North Bay Credit Union is now openly serving Sonoma County's growing legal cannabis businesses. CEO Chris Call tells the Press Democrat it fits the mission of the 70-year-old institution to offer cannabis entrepreneurs a safer way to conduct business instead of walking around with bags of cash. North Bay Credit Union appears to be the first financial institution in Sonoma County to work with cannabis business, but Treasury Department records show it's just one of more than 100 credit unions and 375 banks nationwide that also do.
It's considered a risky move since marijuana is still illegal under federal law. But Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network website says the institutions aren't raising any red flags under Obama-era rules as long as the businesses are thoroughly vetted and are following all state regulations. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded those rules, but incoming Attorney General William Barr said in his confirmation hearing he wouldn't "go after" cannabis businesses operating legally within their state borders.