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Hot! Banks Cleared To Accept Marijuana Business

Siccness News

(CNN) — The U.S. government issued rules on Friday for the first time allowing banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed marijuana businesses.

The Justice Department issued a memorandum to prosecutors that closely follows guidance last August largely limiting federal enforcement priorities to eight types of crimes.

These include distribution to children, trafficking by cartels and trafficking to states where marijuana isn’t legal. If pot businesses aren’t violating federal law in the eight specific priorities, then banks can do business with them and “may not” be prosecuted.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidelines that Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said was intended to signal that “it is possible to provide financial services” to state-licensed marijuana businesses and still be in compliance with federal anti-money laundering laws.

The guidance falls short of the explicit legal authorization that banking industry officials had pushed the to government provide.

But because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, classified alongside heroin as among the most dangerous substances, officials say this is as far as the government can go.

Calvery said the government can’t give any legal guarantees and acknowledged that some financial firms won’t likely choose to do business with pot businesses.

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