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Safe Harbor CEO speaks on changing public perception of cannabis during book signing event

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by Tiffany Underwood

Colorado State University-Pueblo hosted Sundie Seefried, the CEO of Safe Harbor private banking, to discuss cannabis banking and how important it is Wednesday Feb. 15 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the general class building.

Seefried hopes to bring awareness to the community to change understanding so that she can promote safe banking to cannabis companies and get away from the all cash companies.

Safe Harbor banking for cannabis companies has no contact with the cash from the companies. What they do is take a secure banking truck and they take it directly to the bank, so there are no legal concerns for the people in the banking company with the possibility of unsafe money.

According to the Safe Harbor website, they are a private banking is the first and only subscription-based banking program. Their bank is one of the first that is willing to work with cannabis industries to change an all cash banking system to something that is more safe and secure.

“In 2004 I was ready to retire with all my benefits ending, I had nothing to lose and I wanted to help make a change.” Seefried said. She discussed how because of the recent change in Colorado law regarding to medical and recreational marijuana there also needs to be a change in understanding on a federal level.

This event was put on by Timothy McGettigan, sociology and anthropology professor. He said that he put this event on and plans to put on more similar events to aid the new cannabis research program at CSU-Pueblo. The goal of the research program is to find both the good and bad sides of cannabis, then to take that bad and give it to people who are able to work towards fixing the bad.

“Governor Hickenlooper urged CSU-Pueblo to create the cannabis research institute in 2016 to work with the changing laws on cannabis to understand the good but also the bad so it can be solved and not be a bad thing,” McGettigan said.

The event was in a classroom with almost all seats filled, the audience members were people from the Pueblo community and some members who are in collaboration with Safe Harbor banking.

Seefried is also the writer of a book about cannabis banking named Navigating Safe Harbor: Cannabis banking in a time of uncertainty. This book is about Safe Harbor banking and how they work with cannabis companies to work on safe secure banking.

She discussed how difficult it is in this time where medical and recreational cannabis is legal but federal laws prevent these companies from opening checking or saving accounts legally. At the end of the event Seefried went outside into the hall where she was available to sign her books, which were also available for purchase.

“I feel the event went really well, I think it was informative and everyone got the necessary information needed, I do wish this would have been longer for more opportunity for questions,” said Seefried.