U.S. Government Releases Memos Giving the OK to Cannabis Banking

The U.S. government issued rules on Friday allowing banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed cannabis businesses, as long as those businesses are following certain guidelines.cannabismoney

In separate advisories issued by the Justice Department and the Treasury Department, the memos follow comments expressed last month by Attorney General Eric Holder, who noted concerns over the fact that legal cannabis businesses are forced to deal almost exclusively in cash, due to the fact that most banks refuse to work with them.

The advisories state that it is in fact possible for banks to work with cannabis businesses while still avoiding federal scrutiny. In order to do so, the business must not be distributing to minors, trafficking sales to places where cannabis isn’t legal, etc..

Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of the Treasury Department, says the new memos are intended to signal that “it is possible to provide financial services” to state-licensed cannabis businesses, while still complying with federal anti-money laundering laws.

“While we believe today’s guidance should provide banks some of the assurances they need to begin doing business with the marijuana industry, it doesn’t solve all the problems,” says Michael Elliott, director of the Marijuana Industry Group. Elliott’s group wants Congress to approve pending legislation that would “provide certainty for banks and allow our industry to operate just like any other business”.

Although Elliott is correct that more work needs to be done, these memos are clearly a step in the right direction.

TheJointBlog

1 comment

    • jerf on February 15, 2014 at 6:07 am
    • Reply

    its a retarded memo.

    the banks arent going to jump on this.
    how will they know if a business is acting in accordance with this memo?

    i wouldnt touch this with a ten foot pole. make congress fix the law or have holder remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act already.

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