Salem, Oregon – The head of the Oregon Bankers Association is reacting to new guidance today from the Justice and Treasury Departments on how banks can deal with a legalized marijuana industry. Linda Navarro says she “absolutely appreciates the guidance that was provided but neither guidance nor regulatory changes alter the underlying challenge that we have, which is that its illegal in most respects to bank marijuana related businesses.”
The guidelines are intended to increase the availability of financial services to marijuana businesses that are legal. Washington and Colorado allow recreational use of pot and a number of states, including Oregon, allow medical marijuana.
Washington Congressman Denny Heck believes some banks and credit unions will start doing business with the marijuana industry. But he acknowledges these guidelines are not the law and could change with a new administration . He and a Colorado congressman have introduced a bill to let legal marijuana businesses do business at banks in states where pot is legal.