Feds plan guidelines for banks to work with pot business

Here’s a link to a short Associated Press article (posted Jan. 24 by our partners at The Herald Business Journal in Everett) that reports the Obama Administration now plans to set new guidelines that will allow banks and credit unions to serve legal marijuana businesses.

Pot businesses’ access to banking services has been in flux as Washington state prepares to allow pot producers, processors and retailers to open for business later this year. Since marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, banks and credit unions worry that opening doors to pot business could leave financial institutions vulnerable to losing their federal insurance status or being prosecuted for criminal activity.

Entrepreneurs looking to enter Washington’s future marijuana marketplace also worry that, without banks, they would be forced to keep large amounts of cash stashed in their businesses, which could make an attractive target for criminals.

Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com

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