Those in pot industry relieved as regulators allow banking

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Those in pot industry relieved as regulators allow banking

Coloradans react

Federal banking regulators on Friday gave businesses in the marijuana industry access to basic banking services.
John F. Walsh, Colorado attorney general:
“Today the deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice issued guidance to U.S. Attorney’s Offices as to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion regarding banking and marijuana. That guidance seeks to mitigate the public safety concerns created by high-volume cash-based businesses without access to banking and the financial system, while at the same time ensuring that criminal organizations, gangs and drug cartels do not have access to the financial system to launder criminal proceeds. The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office will follow this guidance. In addition, the Department of Treasury (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) today is issuing a guidance memo to the banking industry on this subject.”
Christian Sederberg, partner at Vicente Sederberg in Denver:
“This is really fantastic news in my opinion. The Obama administration, through FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and with DOJ’s (Department of Justice) approval, has outlined the specific steps banks can take to work with state-licensed marijuana businesses. We expect that there will be a number of financial institutions eager to take advantage of this opportunity to work with some of the great entrepreneurs in this state and elsewhere.”
Mike Burns, regional president of Alpine Bank in Durango:
“At this point, it’s a cash business. What do they do with their cash, that’s the question. Different people do different things presumably. I’m glad to see they’re making some effort to allow banks to do business with these people.”
Herald Staff

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