EXCLUSIVE: Learn How This Cannabis Banking Innovator's 'Lead With Lending' Strategy Drives Financial Success

Benzinga ·  Jun 3 16:24

Safe Harbor Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ:SHFS) is making waves in the cannabis banking industry with its innovative approach to financial services. In a recent episode of Benzinga's Cannabis Insider podcast, Jim Dennedy, CFO, and Donnie Emmi, chief legal officer, shared insights on the company's impressive growth and future strategies.

"Safe Harbor acts as a banking intermediary," explained Dennedy, detailing their cash management and reconciliation services. "We do the cash pickups and collections. We deposit that with the Fed. We do the reconciliation of those cash deposits with the Fed to certify that the funds all came from legally derived sources," he elaborated. Their innovative suite of credit products helps clients grow and manage working capital.

Q1 Performance And Strategic Lending Initiatives

Safe Harbor reported a remarkable 245% increase in net income this quarter. Dennedy attributed this growth to significant financial instruments and operational improvements. "We had more credit issued in Q1 than any other quarter in our history at better rates, contributing to positive operating income," he noted. The company also reduced its operating expenses by 36% year-over-year.

The cornerstone of Safe Harbor's growth strategy lies in their credit programs. "We lead with lending," Dennedy emphasized. "Access to credit is critical, and our rates are generally much lower than other issuers, attracting more borrowers to our program." This approach has significantly expanded their loan book and attracted new clients.

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Anticipating The Impact Of Cannabis Rescheduling

With the potential reclassification of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, Emmi discussed the implications for financial institutions. He clarified that while this change primarily affects tax obligations for operators, Safe Harbor and its clients would benefit from improved cash flow and altered underwriting criteria. "However, it won't normalize banking for the industry due to ongoing compliance challenges," Emmi explained.

Capitalizing On Cannabis Finance Trends

The conversation also touched on Safe Harbor's future and its prioritization of developing more credit and payment products in the coming year. Dennedy explained, "Our clients want to facilitate transactions more easily with their customers. Non-cash payment methods can increase average check sizes significantly. We're investing in solutions to help our clients improve transaction efficiency."

Emmi highlighted their unique position to attract further capital investment as the only issuer on the Nasdaq exchange focused solely on cannabis financial services. "We aim to accumulate and acquire other financial service providers in the cannabis market, leveraging our scale to compress margins and improve compliance cost efficiency," said Emmi.

For a more detailed exploration of Safe Harbor's strategies, watch the full interview on Benzinga's YouTube channel:

Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any specific investment or investment strategy. Read more
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