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The legalization of marijuana has been pushed back by financial establishment in Ohio. The Ohio Bankers League (OBL) has voted against the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana. OBL has 210 members and does not want to spark a war between federal laws and state laws when it comes to cannabis.

“Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, and handling proceeds connected to marijuana-related businesses also remains illegal – regardless of state law,” said CEO of the Ohio Bankers League, Mike Adelman. “[Issue 3] would put the Ohio banking industry in an untenable position and would render the marijuana industry an all-cash business, creating public safety issues and money laundering concerns,” he concluded.

OBL says that they would reconsider the vote if the federal government were to reform their strict laws. The initiative for the ballot will be decided on November third and would allow residents in Ohio to grow small amounts of pot in their own home. Commercial growing would also be allowed, but limited to only 10 sites. Ohio banks may be a victim of the federal government’s laws if they were to serve businesses that sold marijuana “including the Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. Controlled Substances Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Patriot Act.” Groups advocating legalization have tried to convince the group that they wouldn’t need to fear over this if the Issue 3 were to pass.

“The Yes on 3 Amendment does not require Ohio banks to take the billions of dollars generated from Ohio’s regulated marijuana industry. Therefore, the Ohio Bankers League has no legitimate concerns to deposit,” stated executive director of ResponsibleOhio, Ian James.

At the moment, ResponsibleOhio looks to be winning when it comes to the opinion of the public with their own Quinnipiac University Poll. According to results, 52% of residents in Ohio would like to legalize pot for recreational use while 84% would like to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Despite these numbers, the Ohio banks are just another on the list of some of the bigger financial institutions (Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, JP Morgan Chase, etc.) that have made it known that they will not be supporting the cannabis firm with their services.


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