Today, nearly four-fifths of the United States have regulated medical marijuana markets. Nearly half of the United States, consisting of twenty-one states along with Washington, D.C. and Guam, have acted to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana. However, the possession, distribution, and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which means any contact with money that can be traced back to state-legal marijuana operations could still be considered money laundering and expose a bank to significant legal, operational, and regulatory risk.
Continue Reading Marijuana & Banking: What’s the Hold Up? Part 1 – Conflicting Legal Landscapes

With the anticipation of federal marijuana legalization, the cannabis industry rang in 2021 with sky-high equity values and anticipated social justice reforms seemingly imminent. However, differing ideas regarding how to legalize marijuana has left federal legalization in limbo and, 20 months later, the sector is still plagued by a myriad of factors that have effectively limited opportunities to succeed in the newly legal cannabis market: onerous capital requirements which can only be financed privately, prohibitions on granting licenses to drug felons, and other hurdles. While both chambers of Congress have made strides by passing bills addressing these issues, such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), and the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, all have failed to secure enough bipartisan support to break through the stalemate.Continue Reading Cannabis and Social Justice Reform: Are We Doing Enough?