What is the name of your business and when did you start?
Blue Sky Bank started our Cannabis Banking program on March 1st of 2021 and onboarded our first customer on 4/20.
Where can people find you?
The best way to find us is online at bluesky. bank/cannabis-banking. Please complete the inquiry form at the bottom of the page and one of our Cannabis Bankers will reach out to schedule a call to learn more about your business, discuss details of our services, and find solutions for your banking needs.
How many employees do you have?
Blue Sky Bank has a team of 160 employees across Oklahoma and Texas. Our dedicated Cannabis Team of seven serves cannabis businesses in 11 states.
What services or products do you offer?
Commercial checking accounts, mobile and online banking, mobile deposit, checks and debit cards, ACH origination for direct deposit, vendor payments, etc. We partner with vendors who provide secure cash transport, merchant payments, ATM terminals, smart safes, recyclers, and other tools you may need to manage your cash and your financial transactions.
What was your mission at the start of your company?
Blue Sky Bank was originally chartered in Osage County, Oklahoma in 1905 as the Bank of Commerce in Pawhuska. Over the last 118 years, it has grown and changed names several times, known as the National Bank of Commerce, NBC Bank, and, most recently, Citizens Bank of Oklahoma.
Although the name has changed over time, Blue Sky Bank is and has always been Oklahoma-owned with a focus on commercial lending and community banking. Our vision is to be the best bank for individuals and businesses who share our values and seek a long-term financial partner.
Our daily mission is to capture the loyalty and imagination of businesses and individuals as we create financial solutions.
What makes your business unique?
Choosing a compliant banking partner is an important part of running a successful cannabis or cannabis-related business. Blue Sky Bank utilizes secure online onboarding and ongoing compliance so that you can bank on your terms, on your schedule, from your home or office.
Visit our website to find out how to conveniently apply online. Supply the necessary documentation and open your account without ever visiting a bank location.
What made you choose to start a company in this industry?
Several of our existing customers were entering into the cannabis industry once SQ 788 [the 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana] was passed; they inquired if we would be able to provide them banking services.
Conducting a cash-only business without a safe place for your funds creates security risks for the company, their employees, their families, and their communities. Can you imagine running any household or business without a bank account? Neither can we.
Licensed cannabis companies are legitimate businesses who deserve the same access to banking services that any other industry takes for granted. Blue Sky Bank has thoughtfully created a compliant cannabis banking program to offer these businesses the services they need to operate, as well as the tools needed to pay their expenses and employees.
How would you describe your company’s workplace culture?
We have a fun but professional culture here at Blue Sky Bank. All our team members have the same commitment to our core values: A willingness to work hard and be the best you can be; making a handshake matter; being a person of high character; finding creative solutions to problems; and supporting the work and success of others.
Why do you feel your business is important to the community?
The communities we serve are the heart of Blue Sky Bank. We understand the importance of safety and the best business practices. Operating solely on cash for your daily operations is risky and we wanted to provide tailored banking solutions to cannabis businesses so they can function just like any other business.
How does your business give back to your community?
Blue Sky Bank is very active in the communities we serve. We participate in several outreach programs, volunteer time at local food banks, provide scholarships for students, and sponsor events and charities that benefit many local organizations.
Describe your ideal customer.
Our perfect customer is a like-minded business owner who understands the importance of banking and transparency as it relates to a high-risk account type such as cannabis. We support all licensed cannabis and cannabis-adjacent businesses in the industry.
We take the time to understand their business needs, educate them regarding the compliance requirements, and then walk them through our application process.
What three things do you want people to know about you?
- Not all banks are cannabis friendly. Some will not even provide consumer services to those working for or associated with a cannabis operation. Find a bank with a dedicated program and be transparent with them about the details of your business.
- Compliance is very important to us. We have State and Federal regulations we must adhere to in order to provide financial services to our cannabis customers. Cannabis banking is only possible when we follow the rules, and we will need your help during the lifetime of the relationship.
- Joining two highly regulated industries – banking and cannabis – takes some expertise. Our dedicated team is experienced and offers the specialized service you need. Do your homework and find a bank that has a dedicated team of people who understand your business.
What are you looking forward to in 2023?
Seeing our cannabis community thrive in an environment in which Blue Sky Bank understands what their needs are and continuously works to find viable solutions for their success. Nothing is more satisfying than being their “joint partner in banking” and “helping grow their green.”