Here’s the introduction to their report
As a bipartisan marijuana banking reform bill lingers in the Senate, congressional researchers have released a report outlining the various criminal penalties that continue to loom over financial institutions that work with state-licensed cannabis businesses.
While hundreds of banks and credit unions do report servicing state-legal cannabis operators—activity that regulators generally decline to take enforcement action against despite federal prohibition—the report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) shows what’s technically at stake under existing statutes.
“Due to the legal risks under federal law, many financial institutions are unwilling to provide common banking products and services—such as debit or credit card payment services, business loans, electronic payroll services, and checking accounts—to state-authorized marijuana businesses,” CRS said. “Some argue that this unwillingness, in turn, has reportedly stifled growth of state-authorized marijuana businesses and forced them to operate largely in cash, raising public safety and tax compliance concerns.”
There are a number of legal liabilities associated with providing banking services to marijuana businesses due to the “discordant state and federal marijuana legal regimes,” the report says. That includes possible criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), anti-money laundering (AML) laws and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
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