Even with FinCEN Guidance, Some Banks Fret over Clients’ Tenuous Ties to Marijuana

By Brian Monroe

As federal and state officials continue down the road toward relaxing cannabis restrictions, banks have questions beyond simply whether they can accept marijuana dispensaries as clients. They wonder whether less direct financial ties to the businesses could be cause for concern too. Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department outlined how banks might provide accounts for marijuana businesses that operate legally under state laws and within the confines described in an August memorandum by the U.S. Justice Department. But because such banking remains illegal under federal law, institutions must still file suspicious activity reports (SARs) on those clients, the department said....