The Department of Treasury today issued guidance for financial institutions that want to do business with the marijuana industry.
The primary force keeping banks away from the marijuana industry has always been regulations issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) dealing with money laundering. The Bank Secrecy Act that FinCEN enforces requires banks to investigate their customers and to neither negligently or knowingly do business with bad actors. State-legal marijuana businesses have always fallen into the category of bad actors for the banks, so they avoided potential fines by refusing to provide banking services to marijuana businesses.
Today’s regulations, however, clarify that banks can provide services to marijuana businesses without running afoul of federal regulations, so long as they abide by the following: