During the Senate Hearing, Deputy Attorney General James Coles said that the department is currently working on how to address the issue of marijuana banking and the department is talking with bank regulators to “discuss ways this can be dealt with in accordance with the laws we have on the books today.”
Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law the federal government has previously put pressure on banks to drop accounts with marijuana-related businesses, even in states where medical marijuana is legal. This is forcing medical marijuana dispensaries to be all-cash businesses which creates significant problems and dangers.
By creating this needlessly dangerous situation the DOJ is actually undermining much of what it claims to be its top marijuana priorities according to their new memo.
Adopting a solution to this banking issue would go a long way to prove that the DOJ is adopting a new stance regarding state marijuana laws, instead of just trying to gain some positive press while not actually changing anything.
Of course the the Attorney General already has the power to unilaterally reschedule marijuana which could go a long way to fixing numerous problems. I will wait until I see results before I cast judgment.
Photo by eggrole under Creative Commons license