Sally Vander Veer of Medicine Man, left, hands the bags of cash to the crews from Blue Line Protection Group to pay Medicine Man's state taxes. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

Fourth Corner pot credit union waits for federal master account

Organizers behind the world’s first credit union established for the marijuana industry had no word Wednesday on the status of their application for a master account with the Federal Reserve System.

The Fourth Corner Credit Union hoped its account would be established by Dec. 10, but will have to wait at least another two weeks to learn the fate of their efforts to open its doors, people close to the process said.

Any credit union or bank needs a Federal Reserve master account to operate. Approval is typically procedural once a business has a valid charter and routing numbers.

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Fourth Corner last month obtained a state charter to operate, and routing numbers were assigned by the American Bankers Association.

The credit union is also awaiting word on its application for deposit insurance, which it made to the National Credit Union Association. The federal regulator of credit unions has said the process could take up to two years.

Colorado law allows a credit union to open its doors while an insurance application is pending, but must have the federal master account.

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Accounts are established approximately every two weeks during maintenance cycles at the Federal Reserve.

Marijuana businesses have had difficulty obtaining consistent banking services because although the use and sale of pot for recreational purposes is legal in Colorado, the drug is illegal under federal law.

The credit union membership would be open only to marijuana businesses, associated companies and those individuals who are members of groups that support pot legalization.

David Migoya: 303-954-1506, or

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