Social scientists will tell you that when faced between two difficult choices, the natural inclination is to choose to do nothing. That is why, for example, umpires hate to call ball four when the count is 3-0. Realistically however, when policy makers decide to do nothing to solve obvious problems, they are making a decision, and it often has negative consequences for everyone involved. Today’s news has three examples on how inaction is hurting consumers in the financial industry.
- Later today I will be contributing my two cents to a panel discussion dealing with issues faced by the financial industry in providing services to marijuana-related businesses. One of the points I’ll be making is that whether you agree or disagree with the legalization of pot, the status quo is in no one’s interest. For example, it’s dumb that we can’t even agree on a legal way to transport the money. I recently heard about a company that has to drive a van full of cash from New York to New Jersey in order to find a financial institution willing to provide it services. In addition, it’s not using a traditional Brinks armored truck. Since many of these traditional companies refuse to transport cash derived from marijuana businesses, it’s only a matter of time before we see a cottage industry of bad guys who make a living off robbing these vehicles. By doing nothing to clarify the interplay between state and federal laws, policy makers are simply making the marijuana business less efficient, more costly and more dangerous for everyone involved.
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