The Treasury Department is reviewing existing guidance that provides a process for marijuana businesses to bank without causing issues under federal law.
The previous guidance from the Treasury remains in place – for now – but at a Senate hearing on Monday, Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury’s deputy secretary, said, “We are reviewing the guidance in light of the attorney general’s recent decision to revoke a Justice Department memorandum on this issue.”
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was not notified before US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo on January 4, 2018. Reports have shown that the number of banks accepting medical marijuana and cannabis-related business clients has grown steadily in recent years, and the lawmakers have expressed their concern that any further rescinding of existing guidance may affect the cannabis industry.
“Attempts to disrupt this market are dangerous and imprudent,” they wrote. “We see the removal of protections on financial institutions, which are operating in accordance with state laws, as a poor alternative to creating meaningful policy through the political process.”
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