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Survey of Marijuana Law in the United States: Issues with the Banking Industry

Banking Issues with the Legalization of Marijuana

Federal banking laws have essentially created a "cash & carry" marijuana industry.  Banks cannot accept funds from marijuana businesses for fear of criminal liability for "aiding and abetting" a federal crime and money laundering. This is because on the federal level marijuana possession and sale are federal crimes. No credit card accounts and no merchant accounts are permitted. This has created a huge security problem for marijuana businesses dealing with large sums of cash. This situation could be fixed by the Treasury Department if it assured banks that they will not be prosecuted for taking money from legal businesses or if Congress passed a law outlining legal marijuana banking rules. 

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