January 5, 2016

Credit Union Lawsuit Against The Federal Reserve Over Marijuana Banking Is Dismissed

January 5, 2016
banking marijuana industry bank

banking marijuana industry bankFourth Corner Credit Union sued the Federal Reserve in an attempt to gain access to the federal banking system. That case was dismissed today. I think it’s worth pointing out that the judge overseeing the case recently referred to federal marijuana banking guidance as a ‘Nothingburger’ and expressed support for marijuana banking. However, he said at the time that the lawsuit wasn’t about his opinion, and that a lawsuit wouldn’t bring about banking reform. He said that only Congress can do that in a legal, binding way. Below is a reaction to today’s dismissal from the National Cannabis Industry Association:

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Fourth Corner Credit Union against the Federal Reserve in hopes of providing banking services to the legal cannabis industry. In his ruling, Judge R. Brooke Jackson said Congress must provide the answer, stating, “I regard the [cannabis banking] situation as untenable and hope that it will soon be addressed and resolved by Congress.”

Fourth Corner is a credit union chartered by the State of Colorado and designed to serve legitimate cannabis businesses, but the Federal Reserve had denied its request for a master account, which would have allowed them to provide checking services to its members.

“This ruling sends a message loud and clear – Congress must act,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). “There’s no shortcut, there’s no band-aid, there’s no work-around to fix this industry-wide.

“Forcing cannabis businesses to operate without banking access is a crisis, affecting public safety, law-abiding businesses, and the state officials in charge of regulating them. It’s time for Congress to do its job and fix the problem.”

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