Banks Forcing Legal Pot Growers to Run Cash-Only Businesses

Picture: Joshua Sandoval (CC)

Even if you’re legally selling marijuana according to the laws of your state, the drug’s federal status may keep banks from doing business with you. Seems like the feds are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to the potential of marijuana as a taxable revenue, but what else is new?

Via NPR:

Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.

I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it’s still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.

So people who want to go into the marijuana business — who want to legally grow, distribute, sell marijuana in the state — are going to have to operate, basically, like drug dealers. They’re going to have to run a cash business.

Take another toke and read on.

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15 Responses to Banks Forcing Legal Pot Growers to Run Cash-Only Businesses

  1. Anomaly_of_Anomie November 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Not to worry… I’m sure the banks of Monsanto will get right on it.

    • Anarchy Pony November 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

      Surely Monsanto is busy crossing weed with tobacco, so you get severely addicted.

  2. InfvoCuernos November 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    OMG like pot dealers don’t have any clue how to handle large sums of cash. I bet there’s a run on coffee cans to bury your loot in the backyard.

  3. DeepCough November 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    They’re better off not dealing with banks, because then the feds would just seize your bank account
    for drug dealing.

  4. Francisco Saravia November 17, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    its time to move to bitcoins. !!! bit coins.. !!

    • BuzzCoastin November 17, 2012 at 6:06 am #

      my thoughts exactly
      also open a legal pharmacy on silkroad

  5. BuzzCoastin November 17, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    drug dealers have faced the “problem” of what to do with cash since god knows when
    so, if these people don’t follow the ques and do what their brothers outside the law do
    then they must be stoned

  6. BunkersTrust November 17, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Don’t throw me in that brier patch; don’t make me run a cash only business where I get to count the cash for tax purposes. Don’t do that to me please, for the love god no!.

  7. Ray Butlers November 17, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    speaking as a banker, we’d love their business (such as the credit card revenue, business loans, etc.) but the Federal law makes it explicitly illegal to do business with illegal enterprises. sorry to be a buzzkill, but we can’t risk having our assets simply seized in a federal raid.

    • Jin The Ninja November 17, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      when has something being illegal, EVER stopped a bankster from capitalising on it?

      • mruptight November 17, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

        get a job you bum

        • Jin The Ninja November 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

          get a new line, troll

      • Marklar_Prime November 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

        In addition when have a banks assets ever been seized just because it was breaking the law. If that could happen there would be no banks.

  8. Adaugeo November 19, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I use my visa debit and credit all the time in CA

  9. Jin The Ninja November 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm #


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