The U.S. government has started a new line of business for the largest financial institutions in the United States and this time around they do not want it.
The financial crimes arm of the Treasury Department is making it a smoother process for depositing the growing revenue stream from the legal marijuana industry, with more than $2.5 billion coming in every year. But uncle sam wants to put his tax on the revenue as a system to keep it away from organized crime.
Though, federal bank regulators have kept quiet on the issue, raising the specter that financial institutions could operate afoul of federal drug laws if they take the cash. That’s left the industry of banking very distorted about their options even as legal cannabis distributors in almost half the United States and the District of Columbia are handing large amount of money that is stacking up in safe keeping.
“More than 200 million Americans live in states where there is some form of legal marijuana,” stated Rep. Earl Blumenauer. “It’s a disservice to these business people to deny them normal access to banking services.”
It has been a little more than a year since the Financial Crime Enforcement Network, which is also recognized as FinCEN initially provided a format to banks on how they can both accept money from cannabis businesses and remain in compliance with the law. Ever since, marijuana businesses have been surging. It is getting funding from investment financing and marijuana icons like willie nelson as well as the estate of Bob Marley throwing some new product ideas.
However few financial institutions have opened their doors, urging some 100 business people from the marijuana industry to come down on Washington this past month to lobby Congress for a better way of banking.
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