Partner Colorado Credit Union’s CEO, Sundie Seefried, Authors‘Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis Banking In a Time of Uncertainty’

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Groundbreaking Book is a Primer for Banking the Cannabis Industry

Sundie Seefried, president and CEO of Partner Colorado Credit Union and its division, Safe Harbor Private Banking, the leader in providing financial services to Colorado’s underserved cannabis industry, announces the publication of her book, Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis Banking in a Time of Uncertainty.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Seefried “set up a pioneering program to offer banking services to marijuana businesses and has written a guidebook to help other financial institutions. Her advice: document everything and heed the law.” Seefried said, “I wrote the book because I was concerned about the risks a cash-based industry poses to our communities. The book is a primer for credit unions and bankers considering a cannabis banking program,” Seefried continued, “and for policy makers and regulators interested in bringing stability to this changing marketplace.”

The book covers the banking challenges cannabis businesses faced after Colorado voters approved the sale and use of medicinal and recreational cannabis. Federal laws make it difficult for cannabis businesses to open checking or savings accounts in federally insured financial institutions. These businesses are unable to wire funds, access lines of credit, or maintain payroll accounts. The result is an industry that has been forced to pay its bills, employees, suppliers, and
taxes in cash.

Safe Harbor Private Banking addressed the problem by offering banking services for the law-abiding cannabis industry. “Serving the underserved is what credit unions do and that’s why we took the risk and created this private banking division,” said Seefried. The program has earned the praise of Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter: “A pioneering
program for marijuana-related businesses in Colorado that is providing banking services to the industry, while keeping our communities safer.” Colorado’s State Bank Commissioner, Chris Myklebust, who wrote a chapter in the book, advises: “Would-be cannabis bankers should understand that it could be a very expensive business to get into, that there are personal, financial and legal risks, and that they really need to do their due diligence on the businesses and
consumers they will serve.”

Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis Banking in a Time of Uncertainty can be purchased and downloaded at safeharborprivatebanking.com and is available at Amazon.com in both ebook and print versions.

About Partner Colorado Credit Union
Established in 1931, Partner Colorado Credit Union is a member-owned not-for- profit cooperative with total assets exceeding $300 million. The credit union serves more than 31,000 members throughout the Denver metro area. Partner Colorado offers a wide range of financial products and services, including checking, savings, home and auto loans. Members benefit from the advantages of a credit union, including lower interest rates on loans and higher yields on
savings. Partner Colorado actively supports the community by donating funds and employee volunteer hours to many Denver Metro area organizations. Partner Colorado is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. For more information, visit partnercoloradocu.org. Safe Harbor Private Banking, a division of Partner Colorado Credit
Union, is the only compliance based cannabis banking program of its kind. For more information, go to safeharborprivatebanking.com.

About Sundie Seefried
Sundie Seefried is CEO and president of Partner Colorado Credit Union located in Denver,Colorado. She has served in the credit union industry since 1983 and as CEO since 2001. She holds a bachelor’s in business management from the University of Maryland and an MBA in finance from Regis University.

At Partner Colorado, Seefried has focused on establishing a culture of service and sales excellence. Under her leadership, and with the support of the board and the staff, Partner Colorado was named to a top-10 list of Best Places to Work in Denver for eight consecutive years, from 2005 to 2012.

Poised to retire in 2014, Seefried instead embarked on what has been the biggest challenge of her eventful career: designing and building a full-scope cannabis-banking program. The program she devised, tested and launched has not only withstood the scrutiny of federal and state regulators, it has succeeded financially. Just as important, by banking an industry that once had little choice but to execute all its transactions in cash, Seefried and her Partner Colorado team have made communities all over the state safer.

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Grace Stanton