A credit union (CU) is now the first financial institution (FI) in Massachusetts to offer banking services to recreational marijuana companies. GFA Federal Credit Union revealed to The Boston Globe that it has decided to enter the sector after a year of research and preparations. The move will allow consumers to pay for marijuana with
Democratic agriculture-commissioner candidate Nikki Fried and other state Cabinet candidates from both parties want to see federal banking changes that could lead to Florida financial institutions being open to people and businesses with ties to the medical-marijuana industry. But Fried’s proposal for a state-created bank to handle the burgeoning industry’s money has little support from
Banks face different challenges. Outside of the obvious effects of federal prohibition, an active black market still competing heavily for cannabis marketshare state wide, and diversion and looping issues creating pools of illegally generated funds, banks could sure use tools to help decipher which funds are from regulated versus unregulated entities to avoid money laundering
Nicole “Nikki” Fried is a lawyer and medicinal marijuana lobbyist who has had a tough time dealing with traditional banks due to their reluctance to do business with the state-sanctioned marijuana trade, because its potential conflict with federal anti-money-laundering regulations. While running in last month’s primary, Fried had her campaign account terminated by Wells Fargo.
Federal prosecutors should be “banging the drum the loudest” to get banks more involved in the nascent cannabis industry, providing visibility and transparency that would help expose any illicit activity, said a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who’d helped draft guidance for financial crimes related to state legalization of marijuana. The integration of marijuana businesses