The U.S. Justice Department's policy of withholding enforcement of national laws against state-authorized, marijuana-related commerce that doesn't involve organized crime, sales to minors and other federal "priorities" will likely continue under President-elect Donald Trump, according to Duncan Levin, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York. The policy, which was outlined in an August 2013 memorandum by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole, has been criticized by Trump's nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who could block the inclusion of marijuana initiatives on state ballots, order federal agents to raid state-licensed dispensaries and file money-laundering...
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.
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.
A number of marijuana dispensaries are attempting to convert their profits into securities and other investments to hedge against the threat of having their bank accounts frozen and subjected to federal asset forfeiture proceedings, say sources.
Tasked to consider whether it can offer regulatory relief to the medical marijuana industry, the U.S. Treasury Department may have few options to persuade reluctant financial institutions to bank state-approved dispensaries.