If the Cole Memo is the law of the land, FinCEN guidance determines how it will be enforced.
Welcome to the second part of our cannabis banking series – today we are discussing FinCEN guidance and what it means (in our non-lawyers’) opinion. There are a lot of misconceptions in banking the state legal cannabis industry, and at the time of this recording, we find most of them to be either miscommunications, distorted truths, or outright falsehoods.
That is not to say that marijuana industry companies are able to acquire bank accounts as easily as chip shops or hair salons; the reality is that many banks do not want the hassle, they don’t care to worry about the compliance issues and they may find it prohibitively expensive to attempt to work with cannabis companies, regardless of their state standing.
We’ve taken a big interest in the state legal marijuana business over the past year and a half.
We believe that as an industry, it should be one that has a framework and structure to safely allow for qualifying companies to do business if they are working in states (or provinces in Canada) that allow them to do so.
In part 1, we talked about the origins of the Cole memo – actually we talked about all 3 Cole memos, the Ogden memo, the introduction of the Rorhabacher-Farr (now Rorhabacher-Blumenauer) amendment, and touched on some of the members of Congress like Rand Paul, Cory Booker and Patrick Leahy who are also supporting the legislation.
We also talked about AG Sessions and his crusade to stamp out cannabis in America, the return of civil asset forfeiture and more. That episode is titled The Cole Memo and FinCEN Reporting Part 1, if you want to check out the archives after this show is finished.
What is “FinCEN guidance” exactly?
Find out the answer to this question and lots, lots more in this episode – we’re breaking down the documents, giving you our interpretation, and talking about how state licensed cannabis business should approach the banking dilemna.