Rep. Blumenauer demands answers from FDIC concerning marijuana businesses
Today, Representative Blumenauer sent a letter to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg asking for clarification on what guidance the FDIC provides to banks who offer financial services to marijuana-related businesses, and what role, if any, the FDIC played in M Bank’s decision to abruptly suspend operations in Colorado.
Last week, M Bank publically announced it would offer banking services to marijuana businesses in Colorado, only to abruptly reverse course a week later. A Denver Post article from January 26, 2015 cites industry insiders familiar with the situation claiming that the FDIC stepped in to warn M Bank executives that their actions were too risky. If this assertion is accurate, Representative Blumenauer, who founded a marijuana working group in Congress, demands answers as to why this is the case.
Blumenauer is leading the effort in Congress to reform our outdated federal marijuana laws, which includes banking regulations. Having the FDIC clarify how it assesses risk and gives guidance, and how that aligns with guidance given by the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Treasury, is important if we’re going to have a stable and transparent financial system that provides much needed banking services to marijuana businesses.
His letter and the aforementioned Denver Post article can be found in the attached documents for further review.