Medical marijuana may be legal in many states, but federally, it is still illegal. This means that banks run the risk of being charged with money laundering or other crimes for working with what the federal government considers an illicit activity. This creates a precarious situation where billions of dollars of state-licensed marijuana profits are handled almost exclusively in cash. What are the laws the set up this framework? What problems does this create? What is the solution?
Tag Archives: banking
Fourth Corner Credit Union Conditionally Approved by Federal Reserve
A Colorado credit union dedicated to serving the cannabis industry is one step closer to becoming fully operational. On Feb. 5, 2018, the Fourth Corner Credit Union was given conditional approval by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for a master account.
California Treasurer Studying Possibility of Creating a Public Cannabis Bank
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have reversed federal marijuana enforcement policy, but that isn’t stopping the Golden State from studying how to move forward with creating a public cannabis bank to serve the state’s legal cannabis industry.
Treasurer Announces Next Steps in Exploring Creation of a Public Bank to Serve State’s Cannabis Industry
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 30, 2018 /Weed Wire/ — California State Treasurer John Chiang today announced next steps in determining the potential of a public bank to service the cannabis industry in California.
Hertzberg Introduces Legislation to Establish Framework for Cannabis Banking
SACRAMENTO, Jan. 25, 2018 /Weed Wire/ – Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, introduced legislation today to help financial institutions safely conduct transactions with cannabis businesses.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges Equal Banking Access for State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2018 /Weed Wire/ – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers urged the U.S. Treasury to uphold federal guidance for marijuana-related businesses.
Bipartisan Group of Senators Urges FinCEN to Stay the Course on Cannabis Banking
WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2018 /Weed Wire/ – A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), today urged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to keep in place guidance that has enabled some financial institutions to provide banking services for legitimate cannabis businesses in states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis.
Attorney General Becerra Urges Congress to Incorporate $6.7 Billion Cannabis Industry into Banking System
SACRAMENTO, Jan. 16, 2018 /Weed Wire/ – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a bipartisan group of 18 state attorneys general in urging Congress to advance legislation that will enable the cannabis industry to participate in the banking system in states that have legalized medicinal or adult use of cannabis. The recent decision by the Trump Department of Justice to rescind prior federal guidance rolled back critical protections for the legal cannabis industry.
AG Coffman Urges Congress to Update Banking Laws Regarding Legally Operating Marijuana Businesses
DENVER, Jan. 16, 2018 /Weed Wire/ – Today, Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman joined a bipartisan group of Attorneys General in sending a letter to Congress urging them to take the necessary legislative actions to allow legal marijuana businesses access to banking services.
U.S. Justice Department Blindsided Banking Agency on Pot Policy Flip
When the U.S. Justice Department said last week it was reversing policy on the $7 billion marijuana business, it failed to first notify federal officials who advise banks in states where the drug is legal, sources in Congress said.
Payment Provider Pulls Out of Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Only a week into the New Year and it’s already been a rollercoaster ride for medical marijuana in the United States. Though some states have overcome regulatory hurdles, it seems like Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries are running into new banking issues.
Recreational Marijuana Entrepreneurs Attend Oakland Cannabis Summit
Phil Matier reports on Alameda County officials and business people sorting out rules of recreational marijuana sales at summit.
This Is Why Arkansas Medical Marijuana Banking Will Become a Reality
The Natural State is still reviewing the hundreds of medical marijuana business applications it received back in September 2017 and even though waiting is the hardest part, those that receive licenses can look to forward to the reality of Arkansas medical marijuana banking.
No Bankruptcy Aid for Marijuana Businesses, Officials Say
The U.S. Department of Justice is issuing another reminder that marijuana businesses don’t have a right to bankruptcy proceedings.
California Cannabis Entrepreneurs Will Make $5.2B in 2018
California cannabis entrepreneurs will earn $5.2B in revenue in 2018 as recreational use becomes legal there. The state of California will collect about one billion dollars in accompanying marijuana taxes.
Four Ways the California Treasurer Wants to Improve Cannabis Banking Services
While there have been attempts at the federal level to ensure the availability of cannabis banking services, the Golden State is forging ahead with its own strategies so it can be prepared for the rollout of recreational cannabis in 53 days.
Treasurer Chiang Releases Recommendations to Address Lack of Banking for Cannabis Industry
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2017 /Weed Wire/ – State Treasurer John Chiang today released a report outlining steps California can take to address the lack of banking services that force much of the cannabis industry to operate in cash.
Treasurer Chiang Unveils Findings and Recommendations On Cannabis Banking After Year-Long Study
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 6, 2017 /Weed Wire/ – State Treasurer John Chiang will release a report on steps California can take to address a lack of banking services that forces much of the cannabis industry to operate business in cash.
Tech Company Looks to Make Marijuana Dispensaries Safer
A new tech company has set it sight on making the growing marijuana industry safer. The main goal is to reduce the amount of cash transactions.
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Lead Peers in Pot Accounts
Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank are emerging as the banks of choice for Canada’s burgeoning marijuana industry, even as some lenders shun the sector.
Talk Business & Politics: Brian Vicente on Arkansas Medical Cannabis
National medical marijuana legal expert Brian Vicente, who is working with Arkansas Medicinal Source, highlights what to expect next in Arkansas medical marijuana.
This Is Why Uruguay Is Establishing New Cannabis Retail Stores
On Sept. 13, 2017, Juan Andrés Roballo, head of Uruguay’s National Drug Board, announced in a press conference that the country is establishing new cannabis retail stores dedicated to cash-only sales of cannabis because most banks are refusing to work with pharmacies involved in the country’s legal cannabis industry.
This Is How Hawaii Dispensaries Are Going Cashless
Hawaii dispensaries are saying goodbye to cash and aloha to debit payments. On Sept. 12, 2017, Hawaii’s Financial Institutions Commissioner Iris Ikeda announced that the state would be the first in the country to require that cannabis sales be cashless.
REI Exec Says Entering Marijuana Industry Discussed
High-level staff at outdoor recreational outfitter REI have internally discussed entering the marijuana industry, but amid ongoing uncertainty on the federal level, the company is not seriously considering such a move.
Hawai’i Unveils First Cashless Payment System for Medical Cannabis
Gov. David Ige and state Financial Institutions Commissioner Iris Ikeda announced a “banking solution” that allows Hawai‘i’s medical cannabis dispensaries to access financial services and use a cashless payment system
Legal Weed Entrepreneurs Finding New Funding Options
How do legal-marijuana business entrepreneurs raise money to start or expand their business? The big banks won’t open a checking account for them, let alone lend them money, because cannabis production, processing and selling is still illegal at the federal level. Banking and financing options are limited, but there is a need and funding can be found.
Cal Can Biz Expo Interview: MJIC’s Jordan Gerber
In this Cal Can Biz Expo interview, watch Kristen Fox, Editor-in-Chief of MJINews.com and Marijuana Industry News magazine, interview Jordan Gerber, President of MJIC Capital.
This Is Why State Legislators Are Urging the Feds to Deschedule Cannabis
On the heels of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, introducing legislation to Congress to deschedule cannabis, the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution at its summit in Boston on Aug. 7, 2017, urging the federal government to deschedule cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.
State Legislators Across Country Call on Congress to Solve Cannabis Business Banking Problem
BOSTON, Aug. 7, 2017 /Weed Wire/ – State legislators from across the United States renewed a resolution today to help legal cannabis businesses access banking services – to protect those entrepreneurs’ personal and financial safety – and let states determine their own paths forward on cannabis regulation.
National Conference of State Legislatures Urges De-Scheduling Marijuana
BOSTON, Aug. 7, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved a resolution Monday urging that the Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove marijuana from scheduling in order to give federally approved banks the ability to work with marijuana businesses.
This Is What One Massachusetts Bank Thinks of Marijuana Money
On Aug. 6, 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures carved out 90 minutes during its summit in Boston for a panel on financial services for legal marijuana businesses, addressing efforts to move marijuana money from a cash-only model to a mainstream banking model.
Could a Public Bank Resolve Cannabis Industry’s Financial Services Conundrum?
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 7, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — A highly anticipated meeting of California’s 17-member Cannabis Banking Working Group has been set for August 10 in Los Angeles on the controversial subject of public banking.
Casino Lobby Wants Clarification on Marijuana Banking Guidance
With recreational marijuana now legal in Nevada, home of America’s gambling capital, the casino lobby wants federal marijuana banking guidance on how to deal with money connected to state-legal marijuana markets.
DelBene Introduces Bill to Protect State Enforcement of Marijuana Laws
WASHINGTON, July 31, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) reintroduced the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act (H.R. 3534) to protect medical patients, recreational users and businesses in states that have legalized and regulated marijuana from being prosecuted now or in the future.
US Senators Pen Open Letter to Urge Jeff Sessions to Reassure Industrial Hemp Industry
With members of the industrial hemp industry facing unnecessary banking hurdles, several United States Senators have joined forces to urge the Department of Justice not to use funds to punish banks that do business with them.
US Senators to Attorney General Sessions: Reassure Hemp Industry You Will Uphold the Law
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2017 /Weed Wire/ – Recently, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address their constituents’ concerns regarding the hemp industry’s access to financial services by confirming the Department of Justice will respect Congress’ recent actions on industrial hemp pilot programs.
Treasurer Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group Meets in San Diego to Hear From Congressman Dana Rohrabacher About Federal Solutions to Lack of Banking Services for New Industry
SAN DIEGO, July 6, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and other expert witnesses will brief State Treasurer John Chiang and members of his Cannabis Banking Working group on how to provide banking services to California’s soon-to-be-legalized recreational cannabis industry in San Diego on Friday.
Oregon Marijuana Dispensary Tax Payment Stolen by Department of Revenue Employee
Making a marijuana dispensary tax payment without a bank account is difficult for numerous reasons, but now dispensary owners might also have trouble trusting the actual tax man collecting the payment.
Increasing Number of Financial Institutions Banking Marijuana Money
It seems the advent of the Trump Administration has yet to dissuade banks from serving state-legal marijuana businesses. According to a marijuana banking update issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a growing number of financial institutions are banking marijuana money in the United States.
Coloradan Members of Congress Intro Bill to Respect State Marijuana Laws
On May 18, 2017, Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman introduced legislation to protect state marijuana laws from federal interference. If passed, the bill, “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017,” would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that the federal government could not use the CSA to preempt state marijuana laws.
U.S. Senators Try to Ease Banking for Marijuana Businesses
Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal.
Cortez Masto Introduces Legislation to Provide Access to Banking Services for Legal Cannabis Businesses
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to introduce legislation to ensure that legal cannabis businesses can access banking services.
Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Legislation to Provide Access to Banking Services for Legal Cannabis Businesses
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today joined a bipartisan group of senators led by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and including Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to introduce legislation to ensure that legal cannabis businesses can access banking services.
Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Legislation to Provide Access to Banking Services for Legal Cannabis Businesses
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley led a bipartisan group of Senators – including Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) – to introduce legislation to ensure that legal cannabis businesses can access banking services.
Senator Murray Introduces Legislation to Provide Access to Banking Services for Legal Cannabis Businesses
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation to ensure that legal cannabis businesses can access banking services.
Access to Banking Might Become Reality for Marijuana Businesses
On April 27, 2017, a bipartisan group of congressmen in the United States House of Representatives announced that they would be launching legislation to allow state-legal marijuana businesses access to banking services.
MJIC, Inc. Appoints New Chief Executive Officer
LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — MJIC, Inc., a leader in the California legal cannabis industry, has announced the appointment of Sturges Karban as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 27, 2017.
Cannabis Banking in California: Cole Memo Co-Author’s Recommendations
On March 27, 2017, California’s Cannabis Banking Working Group held a meeting at Oakland City Hall in Oakland, Calif., to address possible solutions to resolve the state-federal banking issue for California’s legal marijuana businesses. California State Treasurer John Chiang announced the Cannabis Banking Working Group back on Dec. 2, 2016, and today’s event marked the…
Treasurer Chiang, Cannabis Banking Working Group to Meet in Oakland After Trump Administration Signals Marijuana Crackdown
OAKLAND, Calif., March 27, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — State Treasurer John Chiang and the Cannabis Banking Working Group will meet Monday in Oakland to discuss solutions that provide greater access to banking to California’s future $7 billion legal cannabis industry.
Senator Wants California Legislature to Urge Trump to Reschedule Marijuana
On March 21, 2017, California Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula, presented a resolution to the Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety that would have the California State Legislature urge the United States Congress to pass legislation to reschedule marijuana and have President Donald Trump sign it.