While marijuana banking still remains smokey, the US Justice Department and Treasury Department provided banks with a blueprint on how financial institutions should work with business in the marijuana industry, releasing joint memos on Friday. While the new rules permit banks to work with the cannabis industry, the rules also require the banks to monitor marijuana business and report suspicious activity through a SARs report.
“A financial institution that decides to provide financial services to a marijuana-related business would be required to file suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) as described below.”
This will allow for banks to begin to cautiously accept legitimate marijuana business. Many banks remain wary though, “we don’t see that guidance as giving banks a full green light to bank these businesses,” said Amanda Averch, director of communications at the Colorado Bankers Association. “We feel the only real and lasting solution is an act of Congress.”