Feds give banks the nod to do business with marijuana sellers


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United States federal government has paved the
way for banks to do business with drug dealers who specialize in selling marijuana by
issuing guidelines that financial institutions should follow.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in coordination with the U.S.
Department of Justice (DOJ), issued guidance on Friday that clarifies customer due
diligence expectations and reporting requirements for financial institutions seeking to
provide services to marijuana businesses.

The guidance provides that financial institutions can provide services to
marijuana-related businesses in a manner consistent with their obligations to know
their customers and to report possible criminal activity.

“Now that some states have elected to legalize and regulate the marijuana trade,
FinCEN seeks to move from the shadows the historically covert financial operations of
marijuana businesses,” noted FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery. “Our guidance
provides financial institutions with clarity on what they must do if they are going to
provide financial services to marijuana businesses and what reporting will assist law

In 2012, Colorado became the first state to approve marijuana for recreational use.
Banks have since sought a mechanism to handle the newly approved marijuana
drug-dealing business.