Spanning 34 states and generating $10.8 billion domestically in 2018, banking and cash management is one of legalized marijuana’s greatest obstacles.
While 633 banks and credit unions (financial institutions) provide marijuana growers, processors and sellers (marijuana-related businesses or MRBs) with accounts, this is a small fraction of nation’s 11,954 financial institutions, which, to offset onerous compliance costs, impose service fees reaching $10,000 per month per account.
Although marijuana’s 100% federal illegality renders all interstate MRB-generated cash transportation to be potentially violative of federal laws, fewer prohibitions exist if, prior to banking, an MRB transports its own money or signs funds over to a third-party transporter.
Further, despite anti-money laundering laws prohibition of cross-border funds transportation or transmission intended to further activities violating federal law, a “presumption against extraterritoriality” immunizes most foreign MRB’s cash transporting from federal prosecution
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