Proposed US banking fix for marijuana may not open all doors
LOS ANGELES — A proposal in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana could encourage more banks to do business with cannabis companies.
But it appears to fall short of a comprehensive fix for an industry often forced to conduct business in cash in a credit card world.
Pot is legal in some form in about 30 states, but companies that grow or sell it often are locked out at banks because the drug is illegal under federal law.
Transactions tied to marijuana proceeds could expose financial institutions to money-laundering charges.
The congressional measure includes language to address the problem, but industry experts predict some banks will still stay away.
California pot industry attorney Nicole Howell Neubert says it’s an excellent step but probably “not a silver bullet for the banking problem.”