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Marijuana banking issue looms large in the wake of Amendment 64

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Amendment 64 proponent Mason Tvert thinks mainstream media attention to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, which approved a separate measure, has already started to wane. But this morning, National Public Radio gave a countrywide platform to a topic we've been addressing for years -- the difficulty of doing pot business when banks refuse to take cannabis cash.

The NPR piece focuses on Washington. Reporter Chana Joffe-Walt, of the outlet's Planet Money team, chats with a banker who says he won't take medical marijuana operations as clients for fear of running afoul of the federal government, which insures accounts for financial institutions across the U.S. and continues to regard weed as illegal no matter what voters in two of the fifty states want.

That's followed by a conversation with Seattle MMJ center owner John Davis, who teaches a class in how to deal with such restrictions. But while he has advice about how to operate on an entirely cash basis, he admits that he obtained a bank account by simply not telling officers at the one he uses how he makes his money.

wanda james posing on balcony.jpg
Wanda James.
This is precisely the conundrum Wanda James found herself in, as she explained to us in an October post about the closure of her edibles business, Simply Pure. "You can't run a business without a bank account, but the only way to get a bank account now is to lie," she said. "And that just doesn't make sense to me. We are not criminals. So why should we have to lie about a business that's registered with the Secretary of State?"

When faced with operating in the light of day or covering up, James and husband/business partner Scott Durrah made a different choice than did Davis. "We'd been with our bank for numerous years for all of our businesses," she noted. "But then we got a letter stating that they were closing our account on July 17. We went back and forth with all the different things happening, but in the end, we realized the only way to get a bank account now is to lie. Just about everybody has one, but the only way they can do it is to put it under a different business category, like 'wellness center' or 'massage center' or whatever. And I just couldn't do that."

Hence, James and Durrah pulled the plug on Simply Pure, at least for now, in order to concentrate on a new restaurant project. The move "is a political statement," she stressed. "As an industry, we employ thousands of people and bring the state millions in taxes and fees. We are a legal business. So why do I have to lie to have a bank account? You can't even pay your taxes without one. Taxes are supposed to be paid electronically through your bank account...."

Continue to read more about marijuana and banking, as well as to hear the NPR report.



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15 comments
melekalikimaka
melekalikimaka

I was just reading up on "how to start a credit union"......  I was wondering why these businesses don't get together and start their own Credit Union?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I am known to many across the nation , for my limited success at fantasy football . I offer help outside the heavily watched Fantasy Pro Shows , while personally exposing my 'lack of a real life' .

This season has been VERY different . For every fantasy inquiry , I receive a dozen in search of a Colorado-marijuana-connection ! It's almost as if they expect an immediate purchase ,

via 'PayPal' .

Hmmmm..... Perhaps I should direct them all Tom Martino's way . According to him , Coloradans couldn't purchase a snow shovel w/o HIS guidance & or assistance !

knowa1
knowa1 topcommenter

Please sign the White House petition to let Marc Emery complete his sentence in Canada http://wh.gov/XXp9

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"This is precisely the conundrum Wanda James found herself in, as she explained to us in an October post about the closure of her edibles business, Simply Pure."

 

Regulation Works !!

 

STRICT Regulation Works better!! ... according to Lyin' Brian Vicente.

 

Hey Wanda ... how's that "regulation" feeling now, baby? ... can you feel it all up in ya .... yeah baby, take that "regulation" deep and hard ... that's a good little government sycophant.

 

Büch Dich!

 

.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Federal Money Laundering crimes = 20 years in Prison for EACH count !

 

 

wtfk
wtfk

"We're not criminals."

 

The federal government thinks you're a criminal, and the federal government regulates the banks.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

If one week after Colorado ¨legalizes¨ marijuana and the federal government and the Governor has a closed door meeting to discuss the amendment and it is not made available to the public and no one is going to rase the alarm about that, then may your slave chains set lightly upon you because that is what you are. WHERE IS THE RECORDING OF THE MEETING NIXONLOOPER?http://es.scribd.com/doc/113412582/CORA-Letter-Corey-Donahue-Amendment-64-1

 

larewfamily
larewfamily

This is how you know the FED sells all the drugs!  These banks that refuse to do business with Medical dispensary's well they surely do business with the Drug Cartel. They are waiting from the ok from the Drug dealing FED they are giving up their business to the public before they step on congress's toes!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @melekalikimaka 

 

Read up on Federal Money Laundering crimes and the 20 years in prison per count penalties they carry ... and get back to us.

 

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wtfk
wtfk

Of course, the fix for that, and pretty much everything else, is ending the Federal Reserve and allowing banks more autonomy. I'm guessing the war on drugs is a big reason why the feds LIKE to control the banks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @CoreyDonahue  The recording is in the Dick Cheney memorial crypt ... along with his Energy Task Force meetings ...

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @wtfk Like your two-part post, wtfk. We're going to pair them up as an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

clicknhit
clicknhit

 @wtfkHate to break it to you the Federal Reserve isn't part of the Federal "Government" its just a collection/coalition of Banks acting under an organization. The government has an indirect affect on policies at best.

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