The cannabis industry is prospering and growing each day. Although, the cannabis industry is growing and evolving into a booming industry like many others it still faces many challenges with financial services. As of June 2020 there were only 695 banks and or credit unions servicing marijuana- related business according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Not only are many cannabis companies facing challenges with financial institutes they are also facing challenges with cannabis being a cashed based business. We meet up with Eric Kaufman of dama who helped to marry cannabis and banking. He shares with us tips and tricks on banking in the cannabis industry.
Harry Brelsford 0:06
Hey 420MSP Harry here. And we are back with one of our leading influencers in the cannabis technology space. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word Eric Kaufman over dama, how you doing?
Eric Kaufman 0:18
I’m well, thanks, Harry, thank you for the kind words and introduction. Appreciate it.
Harry Brelsford 0:22
So what? Right? Yeah, exactly. There you go. And in the state of Texas right now. So what I’d like to do with each influencer is tell us number one about yourself, number two about your company. And then number three, maybe what events you can be expected to go to Fingers crossed events of return, but where might someone meet you? So let’s start with you on your LinkedIn profile. I saw you’re a Forbes contributor. Take it from there.
Eric Kaufman 0:53
Yeah, Forbes contributor, you know, I’ve been at Dama, pretty much since we went to market. And so we’ve we’ve been around since 2017, spent the first couple years in development. Then when it was time to go to market, I came on board, I was connected to Dama with one of the co founders. And as I worked with him at one of his previous companies that he co founded into public, which was another banking and payments company. And so the exciting thing about Dama is that it’s really co founded and run and all the employees here come from an extensive background in banking and payments. So really, industry veterans in that vertical, and now also industry veterans in cannabis. And we’ve been successfully able to marry the two. And the exciting thing is even the cofounders of previous companies, one of the fundamental value propositions of of all of them have been focusing on cash based economies, and figuring out ways to take those economies, bank them, and then enable the constituents of those economies to be able to bank transparently and openly and transact electronically. And so when we looked at cannabis, obviously a huge cash based economy and saw an opportunity to iterate on something we’ve done twice before.
Harry Brelsford 2:03
Yeah, I bet you could ask every day how, how do you handle compliance and regulation? And I know that’s a that’s a thick book. What’s the short answer?
Eric Kaufman 2:12
The short answer is that that was our first key critical hire was a Chief Compliance and risk officer that drives everything. We are a compliance driven organization, and everything emanates from there. All of our relationships with our bank partners, all of our bank products, they all emanate from a compliance perspective. So we have a deep bench that oversees everything, and we partner with our bank partners to run their compliance department. And so that that is first and foremost, our most important role.
Harry Brelsford 2:41
All right, well, we’ll end it with this. I always like to ask an influencer. And again, fingers crossed that we can all go to events again, at the pace we like, what events looking forward? Might someone find you and I often hear mjbizcon?
Eric Kaufman 2:57
Yes, yeah, we’ll be at hollow flowers. We’re exhibiting at lollow flowers this year up in Sonoma, or Santa Rosa. And ideally at the Palm Springs event as well. And then we’ll also be at mjbizcon. So you can find me on LinkedIn or email me directly, and we’d love to meet up and meet any and all of you.
Harry Brelsford 3:17
Yeah, yeah. All 35,000 There you go. It’ll be a busy. It’ll be a busy conference. All right. Well, hey, Eric. Stay in touch. And again, congratulations. Just to reiterate, you were named by M<arijuana. Venture magazine is one of the leading can attack influencers. So keep up the good work.
Eric Kaufman 3:34
Thanks so much, Harry. I appreciate you having me on.