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Safe Harbor Financial Partners with Five Star Bank to Create a Potential Billion-Dollar Growth Opportunity for Cannabis Banking

WARSAW, N.Y. and GOLDEN, Colo., May 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SHF Holdings, Inc., d/b/a/ Safe Harbor Financial ("Safe Harbor") (NASDAQ: SHFS), a leader in facilitating financial services and credit facilities to the regulated cannabis industry, and Five Star Bank, a New York-based subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISI), are partnering to expand crucial access to cannabis banking nationwide.

Safe Harbor’s fintech platform provides a single point of access for commercial deposit bank accounts, access to payment services and treasury management for licensed cannabis businesses through its network of partner financial institutions. Backed by Five Star Bank’s ability to dedicate up to $1 billion in deposit capacity through its relationship with Safe Harbor, cannabis businesses of all sizes will be afforded greater access to credit facilities along with a robust suite of cannabis banking services. The collaboration will also enable multi-state operators to consolidate their financial operations and realize normalized commercial banking services.

“Safe Harbor Financial is a strong, reliable fintech partner with deep domain expertise,” said Sean Willett, Chief Administrative Officer of Five Star Bank. “The Safe Harbor team’s dedication to their clients and their track record of processing over $18 billion in compliant cannabis deposit transactions through partner financial institutions align perfectly with our focus on empowering the next wave of financial technology companies and the affinity groups they serve.”

Sundie Seefried, CEO of Safe Harbor, commented, “This partnership expands our capacity to accept up to an additional $1 billion in cannabis-business related deposits and enables us to deliver the most robust and affordable cannabis banking solution available. Five Star Bank’s commitment to fintech enablement uniquely positions Safe Harbor to increase our capacity and continue our national expansion plan.”

About Safe Harbor Financial
Safe Harbor is among the first service providers to offer compliance, monitoring and validation services to financial institutions, providing traditional banking services to cannabis, hemp, CBD, and ancillary operators, making communities safer, driving growth in local economies, and fostering long-term partnerships. Currently managing more than 1000 cannabis-related relationships, Safe Harbor, through its financial institution clients, implements high standards of accountability, transparency, monitoring, reporting and risk mitigation measures while meeting Bank Secrecy Act obligations in line with FinCEN guidance on cannabis-related businesses. Over the past eight years, Safe Harbor has facilitated more than $18 billion in deposit transactions for customers with operations spanning over 40 states and US territories with regulated cannabis markets. For more information, visit

About Financial Institutions, Inc. and Five Star Bank
Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISI) is an innovative financial holding company with approximately $6.0 billion in assets offering banking, insurance and wealth management products and services through a network of subsidiaries. Its Five Star Bank subsidiary provides consumer and commercial banking and lending services to individuals, municipalities and businesses throughout Western and Central New York and its Mid-Atlantic commercial loan production office serves the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. region. SDN Insurance Agency, LLC provides a broad range of insurance services to personal and business clients, while Courier Capital, LLC offers customized investment management, financial planning and consulting services to individuals and families, businesses, institutions, non-profits and retirement plans. Learn more at and

Certain statements contained in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements'' within the meaning of federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to trends in the cannabis industry, including proposed changes in U.S and state laws, rules, regulations and guidance relating to Safe Harbor's services; Safe Harbor's growth prospects and Safe Harbor's market size; Safe Harbor's projected financial and operational performance, including relative to its competitors; new product and service offerings Safe Harbor may introduce in the future; the ability to facilitate deposits; the impact of recent volatility in the capital markets, which may adversely affect the price of the Company's securities; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Safe Harbor; other statements regarding Safe Harbor's expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future; and the other risk factors discussed in Safe Harbor's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. The words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intends," "outlook," "may," "might," "plan," "possible," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "would," and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject, are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of Safe Harbor), and other assumptions, that may cause the actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.


Safe Harbor Financial - Media        
Nick Callaio, Marketing Manager

Safe Harbor Financial - IR
Mattio Communications

Five Star Bank
Kate Croft, Director of Investor & External Relations

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