HCN News & Notes

Bulkley Richardson Welcomes Tina Sbrega to Speak at New Cannabis Series

SPRINGFIELD — Bulkley Richardson announced a new series consisting of events, written alerts, and related resources from professionals for professionals within Massachusetts’ cannabis industry.

The launch event will be held on Tuesday, June 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Bulkley Richardson’s offices located at 1500 Main St., Springfield. The firm will welcome Tina Sbrega, president and CEO of GFA Federal Credit Union, the first financial institution in the state to serve recreational marijuana companies. She will cover the regulatory hurdles to banking in the cannabis industry, what services are available, how to apply for an account, and how to be a compliant ‘bank customer.’

Restricted by federal laws from opening bank accounts in federally insured financial institutions, legal cannabis businesses are forced to conduct all transactions in cash. Recognizing the risks a cash-based business poses for public safety, Sbrega and the GFA Federal Credit Union board created a subsidiary to bring a turnkey banking service to the Massachusetts and New Hampshire cannabis industry.

“We envision a forum where stakeholders in the cannabis industry, including lawyers, accountants, bankers, investors, insurance agents, consultants, and other professionals, can discuss the evolving cannabis landscape, share information, and work in unison to assist business growth,” said Kathy Bernardo, partner at Bulkley Richardson.

Added Scott Foster, another partner at Bulkley Richardson, “our cannabis team continued to see the need for a resource like this, where professionals within the industry can get accurate information, share lessons learned, and collaborate. Having significant clients in the cannabis space, we are on top of the legal considerations of doing business in Massachusetts, and it made good sense to bring in other business professionals to share their expertise. Tina Sbrega is the perfect example. She is helping to blaze a trail for cannabis companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and I expect her perspective from the banking industry to be quite insightful.”

Lunch will be served. Registration is required. To sign up, e-mail marketing@bulkley.com.