The personal bank accounts of several marijuana license applicants in Alaska have been closed due to their association with the legal marijuana industry. According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the personal accounts of at least 10 license applicants have been closed by the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.
Although Alaska’s marijuana market is not fully set up, the move is being seen as a precautionary measure by Alaska USA to sever all relationships with the burgeoning industry and to avoid federal scrutiny.
For many in the marijuana industry, this not a particularly new phenomenon. Ever since Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, business owners have been beset with issues related to banking; however, the closing of personal accounts is a new development in Alaska.
Speaking with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, called the move “premature.”
“It doesn’t make sense for the banking industry to go after people who are only applying for licenses,” Carrigan said. “Obviously, it’s not very equitable to people who have only applied for licensing through the state to be forced into determining whether they will have day-to-day financial security or not.”
It is unknown as to whether or not more account closings will follow.