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Daniel P. Stipano quoted in American Banker article, “Legalizing pot may be only way to lift cloud over pot banking”

American Banker

Daniel P. Stipano

Daniel P. Stipano was quoted on June 11, 2019 in an American Banker article, “Legalizing pot may be only way to lift cloud over pot banking,” which discussed the likelihood that having marijuana removed from the list of federally banned drugs could enable marijuana banking efforts. The article stated, “The insertion of a marijuana banking provision into a must-pass spending bill has reinforced industry hope of legislative progress. Some observers worry that may not be enough for banks and credit unions to service marijuana businesses. For one thing, the appropriations bill would need to be reauthorized every year. Meanwhile, with marijuana still banned at the federal level, a financial regulator could still flag a financial institution's legal risk as long as the agency does not use the specific budget resources. The clearest-cut solution to enabling marijuana banking efforts could be to have the substance removed from the list of federally banned drugs.”

Stipano noted, “I think they’re trying to move incrementally towards legalization and also to address the problem that we have with marijuana related businesses not being able to get accounts. Anything short of legalization on the federal level will probably not be enough. In the meantime financial institutions are caught in the middle of it. It’s a very untenable situation.” He added that he “doesn’t think the Treasury Department or the banking regulators have been the major roadblock preventing banks from servicing marijuana businesses. Neither the Treasury Department nor any of its components have taken any enforcement actions. The reason why banks are reluctant to provide accounts to marijuana businesses is because it’s illegal under federal law.”

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