Banks Say “no” To Pot Shops’ Money

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Banks are saying no to pot money!! Owners of new recreational/medicinal shops for marijuana are in a bit of a predicament.  Their businesses mostly deal in cash.  ATMS are very common at shops. It is difficult for owners to open and maintain bank accounts and without bank accounts it is hard for them to accept credit cards. Marijuana is still classified a schedule 1 drug, still illegal under federal law. Banks fear if they provide service to these pot shops, federal regulators & law enforcement authorities might bust them on money laundering violations among other federal laws and violations. Aaron Smith, executive director of the national cannabis industry associations in Washington. D.C., says legal marijuana sales in the U.S. could reach up to $3 billion this year. Shops have to this with cash or are forced to open bank accounts under false pretenses. Obviously this means security is taken seriously due to the amount of cash running in and out. Businesses such as Blue Line Protection Group in Colorado was formed a few months ago specializing in protecting dispensaries and facilities that grow marijuana, and in providing transportation security.

I think the government should put out guidelines letting banks know any participation with these shops will not lead to any legal troubles. This is the only reason banks are afraid.  The guidelines are not clear.  Banks do not want to get in any trouble. With all this money coming in I would think the government would want to keep track of where it is heading. With that much money floating around crimes are bound to happen and also it would be terrible for so much money to end up the wrong hands. I think the government needs to put out guidelines so this whole industry can move forward and hopefully be seen in a better light as legitimate businesses.

 

 

1 Comment

One Response to “Banks Say “no” To Pot Shops’ Money”

  1. oceanmtnsky on February 27th, 2014 2:09 pm

    Its all about regulating the economy. Interesting and relevant post.

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