Marijuana Companies Struggle To Find A Place To Put Their Green – Marketwatch

If federal auditors find that institutions are working with a marijuana-related business, those institutions could lose their Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance, thus risking the security of the finances of other businesses in their portfolio. In an address to the National Cannabis Industry Associations Cannabis Business Summit in New York in September, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, identified this risk as one of the primary impediments to patient access to medical marijuana. These financial restrictions have prevented transparent financing and have forced many providers to run dangerous cash-only operations, Gillibrand said in the speech. Gillibrand is also a co-sponsor of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, a bill that seeks to provide a safe harbor for financial institutions to allow them to provide services to legal marijuana companies. In February 2014, the Treasury Department and Justice Department issued official guidance to banks to ease concerns about breaking federal law in dealing with marijuana companies, but the effort created more confusion and was widely considered to not have gone far enough in offering protection. The marijuana industry has struck out with big finance. Representatives for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

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