How the cannabis industry could act as a catalyst for the evolution of our stagnant banking system

The banking industry has “reef effect,” says Lamine Zarrad, a former banking examiner who now heads a mobile payment startup in the cannabis space.

The modern bank can be considered a dilapidated structure teeming with life from the “vibrant ecosystem of finance,” he says.

Enter the cannabis industry as a new species joining the fray.

Zarrad, who heads payment company Tokken, joins The Cannabist Show to discuss how the cannabis industry could force an evolution of the banking industry.

“You have this archaic system that couldn’t support the life of the species,” Zarrad says, referencing the banking collapse of nearly a decade ago. “And I think human history sort of shows that those large, archaic monstrosities … need a serious nudge to move in a direction of evolution. And I think the cannabis industry could be that catalyst.”

Cannabis presents a risk that banks cannot account for and analyze effectively, he says, adding that if those in the industry create a series of banking models — it could force wide-scale changes.

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