Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Access to Banks
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soon offer rules to help them gain it. The rules are not expected to give banks a green light to accept deposits and provide other services, but would tell prosecutors not to prioritize cases involving legal marijuana businesses that use banks
Businesses often have no access to business loans or regular lines of credit. Many say they struggle to even keep a checking account open to pay their employees or electricity bills.Most banks remain leery of accepting deposits from a marijuana dispensary, for fear that they could lose their charter, attract unwanted attention from regulators or even risk prosecution for money laundering. And it was unclear on Thursday what exactly the new federal guidelines would say, and whether they would apply to states that allow medical marijuana, or just to Colorado and Washington, where the drug is legal in small amounts for anyone 21 or older. For the banking industry, the details of the guidelines will be crucial for deciding whether banks feel comfortable taking deposits, giving loans or issuing credit cards to legal marijuana businesses. Without specific guidelines, many banks might continue to refuse transactions with legal marijuana businesses. Read this entire nytimes.com article.[message type=”custom” width=”100%” color=”#CCCCCC” border=”#C9C9C9″ color=”#333333″] In a recent interview with The New Yorker, President Obama said that despite his misgivings about marijuana and the push for broader legalization of the drug, it was important that Colorado’s and Washington’s experiments go forward.“It’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished,” he said.
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