Medical Pot Dispensaries Turned Away by Banks
Credit card companies and banks are refusing to service marijuana dispensaries in states where medical pot is legal. The financial institutions reveal federal authorities are pressurizing them to do so. The legal pot business allowed in some states is considered illegal by the federal government. This business is estimated at a whopping annual $1.7 billion. In California alone, the medical pot market size is estimated to be $1.3 billion.
The banks say they are wary of drug-trafficking and money-laundering laws. Bank of America, the largest bank in the US, said it got warned by the DEA some years back. The DEA has warned big banks about legal hassles if they service medical pot dispensaries.
Though some states have legalized medical use of marijuana, the federal government still considers it an illegal business. Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states and D.C. While medical pot supporters say it helps patients suffering from chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, AIDS and cancer, detractors say it facilitates recreational use of marijuana.