Banks Crack Open Their Doors to Pot Business Accounts

For marijuana businesses, perhaps nothing more than banking symbolizes their predicament: While a growing number of states are approving the sale of pot, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That legal limbo has forced many businesses to operate largely on a cash-only basis because banks don’t want to take on the risk they would bring as customers. In a speech on Tuesday, a Treasury Department official is expected to say this might be changing, American Banker reported. Eight months after the sale of recreational pot was legalized in Colorado, more than 100 banks and credit unions throughout the U.S. are working with pot companies. That’s fewer than 1 percent of all U.S. banks and credit unions, but it’s a sign that marijuana merchants may not be iced out of the financial system.

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