Cannabis Banking in Illinois: Opportunities and Risks

Tuesday November 15, 2022 1 PM CST | 120 Minutes

Illinois’ legal cannabis program reports some of the highest sales figures in the country — with  $131 million for adult use and $90 million for medical sales as of April 4, 2022.  In fact, the state collected more tax revenue from cannabis sales than alcohol sales by at least $100 million in 2021.

Illinois encourages financial institutions to provide financial services to cannabis businesses. Still, many are discouraged by the perceived regulatory and compliance burden of doing so and questions about how to create a scalable, profitable program.

Accordingly, on November 15th  at 1:00 pm CST, the Illinois Bankers Association and Green Check Verified will present “Cannabis Banking in Illinois: Opportunities and Risks,” a two-hour virtual presentation that arms Illinois banking professionals with the knowledge they need to engage with the legal cannabis industry in Illinois.

Taught by Green Check Verified subject matter experts — with experience building and scaling cannabis lines of business with over 100 U.S. financial institutions —this educational event covers the following topics:

The Fundamentals of Cannabis Banking 

  • Essential terminology: cannabis/marijuana/hemp, THC/CBD
  • The cannabis market opportunity in the US
  • The cannabis market opportunity in Illinois
  • Defining cannabis businesses and identifying their needs
  • Federal and state cannabis law, guidance, and regulations
  • FinCEN’s 2014 marijuana banking guidance: what you need to know
  • Locating and onboarding cannabis businesses
  • Ongoing monitoring and working with your examiner
  • Case Study: Quantifying Risks and Rewards – Financial Modeling and Risk Assessment Exercise

Quantifying the Risks and Rewards 
We’ll review a case study based on a financial institution currently banking cannabis and use that information to conduct a financial modeling and risk assessment exercise. From the financial modeling exercise, you will learn to identify the products and services you can (and should) offer to cannabis businesses beyond simply accepting deposits and the costs associated with running a program. The risk assessment exercise will help you provide a point-in-time assessment of your readiness to bank the industry and highlight the operational decisions that must be made when working with cannabis-related funds.

Special Considerations in Illinois

The Illinois legal cannabis industry comes with particular challenges and opportunities.  In this session, we will explore the current state of the Illinois cannabis market, where that market is headed; and what financial institutions in Illinois need to understand to grow with this industry safely and effectively.

Q&A – Takeaways

  • Copies of all presentation materials
  • A cannabis banking policy template
  • A copy of the sample financial model 
  • A copy of the sample risk assessment questions
  • 90-day access to a recording of both sessions


  • Board members
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • Compliance and risk officers
  • Branch operations managers
  • Business development teams
  • Lending officers
  • Marketing and communications teams


Paul Dunford

Co-Founder and VP of Knowledge, Green Check

Paul is a co-founder of Green Check Verified, where he is the VP of Knowledge. Paul oversees the development and management of compliance programs for Green Check Verified’s clients, with a focus on state-level compliance as well as compliance around federal guidance.

Stacy Litke

VP, Banking Programs, Green Check

Stacy Litke, VP of Banking Programs leads the client facing cannabis banking teams at Green Check.  Stacy has decades of experience in banking and has seen the financial services industry from the seats of Community Banker, FinTech Leader and Technology Consultant. In her role at Green Check, she and her team have developed best practices for banking the cannabis industry through working with more than one hundred financial institutions as they work to evaluate and implement cannabis banking programs, and conversations with regulators and examiners.