Banks Turn Away Pot Money

Legal marijuana businesses, both medical and now recreational in Washington and Colorado, are facing a new obstacle as banks are frequently unlikely to allow those businesses to open accounts. Despite decriminalization and legalization in some states, the drug is still illegal and classified as a Schedule I drug (the most dangerous category) according to the federal government. As a result, banks fearing punishment from the federal government (particularly money-laundering violations) refuse pot businesses, leading the marijuana business to remain all-cash. The all-cash environment (employees paid in cash, money transferred via Nordstrom bags) is creating a very unsafe situation advocates say, and requires changes by the federal government.