Marijuana in Washington State - Financial Services Issues

On February 14, 2014, the Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, issued Guidance FIN-2014-G001, “BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses.”

In addition, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole issued a Memorandum for All United States Attorneys with the subject heading “Guidance Regarding Marijuana Related Financial Crimes.”

The guidance pertains to how banks and credit unions may provide banking services to entities and individuals in compliance with I-502 relating to marijuana. It is important to note that this guidance is applicable only as to those in compliance with I-502.

Boards and management teams of our state-chartered financial institutions should carefully review this guidance and discuss it with legal counsel when considering whether and how to provide banking services to I-502 compliant entities and individuals and/or whether to accept I-502 tax proceeds for transmission to the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Financial institutions with questions about this guidance are encouraged to contact FinCEN’s Resource Center at (800) 767-2825, where industry questions can be addressed and monitored for the purpose of providing any necessary additional guidance.