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Incompetence or merger for VSECU? – Brospar Daily News

This commentary was written by Mr. Jerome Diamond, three-term Vermont Attorney General and member of the VSECU Board of Directors from 1997-2015 and Chairman of the Board from 2008-2015. Diamond currently lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire .

Last week, the CEO of the Vermont Employee Credit Union announced that the credit union would suspend new accounts related to the cannabis industry, saying VSECU did not have enough staff to supply new growers, manufacturers and retailers. appropriate about to be authorized. Serve. Vermont. It is a shocking statement.

When I was chairman of the board a few years ago, when medical marijuana had just been legalized in Vermont (although still illegal under federal law), the board decided that VSECU would service new dispensaries in hopes that one day Vermont would. marijuana use and retail, VSECU’s business will grow.

VSECU has grown the business over the years and had 80 operations at the time of the suspension.

For three years, everyone has known that by October 2022, regulated retail will begin in Vermont. The Vermont Cannabis Control Commission estimates that over time it will issue 100 to 300 licenses to growers, manufacturers and retailers, all of which require financial institutions to operate. Given that VSECU has become the financial institution of choice for the medical cannabis industry, it stands to reason that when regulated retail begins in October 2022, VSECU will be ready to serve the majority of new licensees. Instead, the CEO suspended service for new accounts, claiming a lack of staff to properly handle potential new members!

If that’s true, then there’s no excuse. VSECU has been preparing for this for years. If they don’t have the budget to boost staff funding, they would have to pull millions spent on fancy flyers and digital advertising to facilitate its proposed merger with the New England Commonwealth Credit Union. If the real cause is the lack of personnel, then it is the incompetence of the management of the VSECU. But is this the real reason? Or is it related to the proposed merger itself?

VSECU waived state regulations to merge with NEFCU and, if the proposed merger passes, would be bound by federal regulations. With the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana still illegal under federal law, it’s no wonder few federal credit unions are willing to risk the wrath of federal regulators on the matter, so few cannabis-related businesses become members. Does the National Credit Union Administration, which is reviewing the proposed merger with NEFCU, question VSECU’s expansion of this business if it wants the merger with NEFCU to be approved? If so, this could be the first of many unpleasant surprises for VSECU members thanks to this merger.

All the more reason to vote against the proposed merger!

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