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This bank that serves cannabis customers had most of its profit wiped out by a robbery.

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By Steve Goldstein

Providing banking services to the cannabis industry isn't easy.

Take Parke Bancorp (PKBK), a Washington Township, N.J. bank that focuses on the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia area. In January, it reported that an armored car company, which it uses to transport and store cash for cannabis-related customers, had some cash stolen from a vault.

After contracting an outside accounting firm, Parke confirmed the $9.5 million theft, and so the bank booked the loss in the third quarter. As a result, its profit fell 90% to $1 million, or 8 cents a share, it announced on Wednesday.

Parke said it will now seek to recover the losses, including through insurance. "Although this theft is painful and was unexpected, we are fortunate to have the financial strength and earnings to absorb the loss," CEO Vita Pantilione said in a statement.

Federal legislation to open up the financial system to legal cannabis companies has been stalled for a decade. Last month, the Senate Banking Committee approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, setting the stage for the legislation to be voted on by the full Senate.



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