13now_smartphones_140
Never be out of the loop!

Take Channel 13 News everywhere you go

CANNABIS CASH: Banks Can Do Business With Marijuana Industry

Posted on: 4:34 pm, February 14, 2014, by

Medical Marijuana

(CNN) — The U.S. government issued rules on Friday for the first time allowing banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed marijuana businesses.

The Justice Department issued a memorandum to prosecutors that closely follows guidance last August largely limiting federal enforcement priorities to eight types of crimes.

These include distribution to children, trafficking by cartels and trafficking to states where marijuana isn’t legal. If pot businesses aren’t violating federal law in the eight specific priorities, then banks can do business with them and “may not” be prosecuted.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidelines that Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said was intended to signal that “it is possible to provide financial services” to state-licensed marijuana businesses and still be in compliance with federal anti-money laundering laws.

The guidance falls short of the explicit legal authorization that banking industry officials had pushed the to government provide.

But because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, classified alongside heroin as among the most dangerous substances, officials say this is as far as the government can go.

Shasky Calvery said the government can’t give any legal guarantees and acknowledged that some financial firms won’t likely choose to do business with pot businesses.

Marijuana has been legalized for recreational and other uses under state laws in Colorado and Washington state. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

Attorney General Eric Holder said recently that he was moved to act as “an attempt to deal with reality that exists in these states.”

Speaking at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center last month, Holder said forcing marijuana businesses to be cash businesses, because they can’t access banks, was a public safety problem.

“Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash, just kind of lying around with no place for it to appropriately deposited is something that would worry me from just a law enforcement perspective,” he said.

FinCEN’s legal guidance creates two new categories for banks to report transactions with marijuana businesses.

All transactions will be labeled as “suspicious” and banks will have to file so-called Suspicious Activity Reports. Those transactions that banks believe are legal marijuana business can be reported to FinCEN as “marijuana limited” transactions. Those that banks believe may be illegal would be filed as “marijuana priority” transactions and would generate further scrutiny from regulators.

Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, the largest marijuana business association in Colorado, said members were pleased with the decision.

“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,” Elliott said in a statement.

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,” he said.

Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said the new rules aren’t enough to reassure banks.

“While we appreciate the efforts by the Department of Justice and FinCEN, guidance or regulation doesn’t alter the underlying challenge for banks,” he said. “As it stands, possession or distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and banks that provide support for those activities face the risk of prosecution and assorted sanctions.”

4 comments

  • William Denison says:

    Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash being made!!!!Sells are great, jobs are being created,people are being responsable and the world has not come to a end. Legalize!!!!

  • William Denison says:

    These banks could be small familys owned banks in the state Iowa taking in this windfall. Thanks to Iowa law makers for being so very short sighted..Thanks for keeping us down.

  • Bart says:

    Smoking marijuana may prevent you from getting cancer…

    An in vitro study of the effect of CBD on programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines found that CBD induced programmed cell death, independent of the CB1, CB2, or vanilloid receptors. CBD inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor–positive and estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner while having little effect on nontumorigenic, mammary cells.[18]

    CBD has also been demonstrated to exert a chemopreventive effect in a mouse model of colon cancer.[19] In the experimental system, azoxymethane increased premalignant and malignant lesions in the mouse colon. Animals treated with azoxymethane and CBD concurrently were protected from developing premalignant and malignant lesions. In in vitro experiments involving colorectal cancer cell lines, the investigators found that CBD protected DNA from oxidative damage, increased endocannabinoid levels, and reduced cell proliferation.

  • William Denison says:

    Cannabis treats SAD “Seasonal affective disorder.” like no other drug known. Cures it almost outright with just a small dose. If you don’t believe me ask around. I found this out when I went to Denver.

Comments are closed.