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For Us Banks Skittish About Marijuana, A Proposal To Ease Worries

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Most US banks shun people like Hope Wiseman, who runs a dispensary that sells marijuana for medical use.

But a bill designed to open up banking to those in the pot industry, such as herself, is sparking optimism as it makes its way through Congress.

Wiseman, who operates a dispensary called Mary and Main, in Capitol Heights, Maryland, just outside Washington, serves patients who suffer from migraine headaches, chronic illnesses or depression.

She feels lucky to already have an account at a bank, but says she is at the facility's mercy, since it could close it at any time.

Marijuana for medical use is legal in 33 states and the US capital of Washington, 12 of which have also legalized it for recreational use.

But under federal law, pot is still classified as a hard drug, just like cocaine. Most banks fear being charged with money laundering if they work with people in the legal marijuana industry.

Wiseman's bank is one of few that accept merchants like her as customers.

"We are charged very high fees because the business is so special, and we are just subject to their mercy," said Wiseman, who opened her dispensary last year.

Transactions are carried out mainly in cash, and when the money is deposited it takes several days to show up in her account, making it difficult to pay bills and employees' wages.

Wiseman's debit card only works with online transfers of crypto currency. The bank will not give her a credit card, deeming her a risk. And the bank can shut down her account over the slightest suspicion that a transaction is illegal.

- A small step ahead -

Source: https://420intel.com/articles/2019/10/07/us-banks-skittish-about-marijuana-proposal-ease-worries

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