Marijuana Banking: Federal Case Doesn’t Look Promising
Colorado created Fourth Corner Credit Union last year to serve the marijuana industry, but it was denied a master account by the Federal Reserve; federal government says it’s illegal to accept funds from pot businesses.
A federal judge said Monday he sympathizes with pot businesses faced with contradictory regulations, but he expressed misgivings about forcing federal officials to approve a marijuana credit union.
U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson made it clear at a court hearing that he was not inclined to issue an injunction forcing the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to grant a master account to Fourth Corner Credit Union.
“I would be forcing the reserve bank to give a master account to a credit union that serves illegal businesses,” Jackson said.
Colorado created Fourth Corner Credit Union last year to serve the marijuana industry.
The credit union had filed a lawsuit asking the judge to grant it a master account, which essentially is a business license for lending institutions. Without the ability to put money into banks, marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, a practice that makes them vulnerable to crime.
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