U.S. officials are drafting guidance for financial institutions concerned that accepting deposits from third-party companies serving state-licensed marijuana vendors may violate federal rules against money laundering, say sources. In February 2014, the department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, instructed banks to file one of three types of suspicious activity reports (SARs) when dealing directly with marijuana dispensaries and cultivators in states that have sanctioned the recreational or medical use of the narcotic. FinCEN warned in the guidance that processing transactions linked to cannabis-related activity-state-licensed or otherwise-may violate federal money laundering statutes, but the bureau largely refrained from advising banks...
The U.S. Justice Department will draft a plan to more effectively discern whether state and local governments are effectively enforcing federal priorities for state-licensed cannabis sales, a governmental watchdog said Monday.
The nation's financial intelligence unit will weigh whether additional guidance is needed on how banks should treat clients tangentially or directly associated with state-sanctioned marijuana dispensaries, according to sources.
Looking at two guidance pieces from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) you get a quick lesson in how difficult it can be to regulate issues that society -let alone state and federal government- hasn't reached a consensus on.
Leaders of the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control sharply criticized the head of the nation's financial intelligence unit for issuing guidance on how banks can treat marijuana dispensaries.
Banks can choose whether to keep accounts for certain marijuana dispensaries and report limited information to federal officials when the businesses are unlikely targets of prosecutors, the U.S. Treasury Department said Friday.