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June 16, 2020   /   Andrew Sheaffer

Partnering with West Town truly goes beyond just banking.

The Idea Is Born.

Frank Maurio spent nearly 20 years as a molecular biologist. He also helped jumpstart multiple toxicology and genetics labs. Michael Horton is a trained analytical chemist who spent over 20 years specializing in instrumentation and method development at various companies. In early 2009, the two crossed paths while their respective companies were working on an overlapping project, and Frank eventually recruited Mike to join his toxicology startup.

As often happens when two curious people get to talking and asking a lot of good questions, one question stood out to Frank and Mike: Why aren’t there more better-quality testing laboratories in North Carolina?

Hemp Banking Case Study:

In November of 2019, Delta 9 Analytical, LLC was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Delta 9 provides reliable, high-quality testing services for hemp and products derived from hemp (including CBD) to growers, extractors, and product manufacturers. Their testing services help to ensure products don’t break the 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold and further provide testing for potency (THC), Cannabinoid (CBD) profiles, terpene analysis, mold analysis, pesticide residue analysis, residual solvents, mycotoxins, heavy metals analysis plus have the analytical expertise to do much more.

Thanks, But No Thanks.

As they were getting up and running, Mike approached his existing bank with a request to finance versatile testing equipment. Unfortunately, the institution declined his request strictly because Delta 9 Analytical operates in the hemp industry.

Mike reached out to a number of online lenders but he didn’t get the news he was hoping to hear. Instead, he got suggestions geared towards pursuing high-interest credit cards and other non-conventional banking products, which weren’t optimal answers, to say the least. Mike and Frank quickly realized that they needed to find a reasonable financing solution, as well as a long-term banking partner that could help them grow in an industry that’s constantly evolving and often misunderstood.

Home At Last.

Last Fall, Frank, and Mike were introduced to Melissa Marsal, West Town Bank’s dedicated hemp subject matter expert. From the start, Melissa and the team at West Town partnered closely with Frank and Mike, providing crucial information, reviewing the latest regulations, and asking them the hard questions that needed to be asked so they could bank in complete and total safety.

In January of 2020, Frank and Mike opened deposit accounts and online banking services with West Town Bank & Trust, and they and couldn’t be happier with the relationship.

Mike said, “Melissa was the first person I met in the banking industry to think outside of the box.  As soon as we met, she was very eager to listen, ask questions about our business, and present creative solutions tailored to our unique situation.  Given today’s uncertainty in the industry, I think you see a lot of resistance and Melissa takes the complete opposite approach with the way she does business.” Frank added, “Not only is Melissa extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the rules and regulations, but she is also heavily involved in the hemp community here in North Carolina. Because she took the time to understand our business inside and out, she’s been able to make the right introductions to the right people within the industry. Partnering with West Town truly goes beyond just banking.” If you would like further information after reading our hemp banking case study here is our hemp industry solutions page.

Also, check out USDA industrial hemp regulations.

Got questions? Let’s talk.