California Banks Take Marijuana Money For as long as we can remember the banking system in the United States has not accepted any money that has come from federally illegal gains. But with marijuana now becoming legal in the state of California will there be a new set of banks that allow their business. If the banks choose to not work with these types of businesses they could be missing out on billions of dollars of business in the future.
Once Colorado and Washington legalized adult use cannabis in 2012 and the Department of Justice issued the Cole Memo in 2013, the DOJ and FinCEN finally provided some relief for cannabis businesses by developing guidelines for financial institutions wanted to bank the cannabis industry. Those guidelines essentially give a green light to banks opening accounts for cannabis businesses in state-legal and highly regulated marijuana states so long as they conduct necessary due diligence and monitoring of their cannabis clients and file a Suspicious Activity Report whenever opening such an account.
Because cannabis is federally illegal a majority of the financial institutions steered way clear of any business with them. However, with the new laws in other ‘legal’ states we are hoping that California banks will allow something very similar. The money has long been the goal of many federal agencies, and it will continue to be because the marijuana industry brings in so much money. To think that a government has the power to restrict you from growing a plant seems ludicrous but it is the world in which we live and we must continue to fight for what we believe in. The momentum continues to build on the marijuana movement and we are expecting big things the in future for all other states that choose to legalize marijuana. We have the chance to become a generation that sees major change in our society towards a larger goal.