There was a lot of big marijuana news that occurred this week, but the biggest news came out of Washington D.C. today. United States Attorney General Eric Holder stated that an announcement is coming soon which will allow banks to finally work with marijuana businesses. Banking has been a major issue for the marijuana industry.
The federal government has worked hard for a long time to ensure that the legal marijuana industry is a cash-only industry. The federal government put pressure on banks to not work with marijuana businesses, and also pressured armored truck companies to shun the industry as well as stopped credit card companies from working with the marijuana industry. All those rules resulted in marijuana businesses stockpiling enormous amounts of cash, making them targets for theft.
“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Holder said according to Politico. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash—substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.”
I can’t overstate enough how huge this is, assuming the announcement is backed up by action. A lot of people have been lobbying for a change to banking policies for a long time now. I’m ecstatic that things are finally moving in the right direction. I’m curious how this will affect loans to marijuana businesses. Right now a lot of businesses have to rely on angel investors to help them out. It would be nice if businesses could go to a traditional bank and get a business loan, instead of mortgaging part of their future in order to expand.