Cannabis Businesses Continue to Struggle with Banking Issues

JEAN-GABRIEL FERNANDEZ | June 18, 2019

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Even in states where it is legal the possession, distribution or sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law which means any contact with money that can be traced back to state marijuana operations could be considered money laundering and expose a bank to significant legal operational and regulatory risk the American Bankers Association explains. Banks can be held liable if they hold money that was illegally obtained, and as selling cannabis is still considered a federal crime cannabis businesses is a liability for banks. Cannabis growers and retailers can and often are denied the right to open a bank account, but they are not the only ones. Landlords, employees, service providers, as well as anyone indirectly tied to any kind of cannabis business can potentially be denied service. The rift between federal and state law has left banks trapped between their mission to serve the financial needs of their local communities and the threat of federal enforcement action,” the American Bankers Association adds.

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