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Money Laundering & Marijuana Industry


February, 2018

Thomas Howard

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Marijuana being a schedule I drug declared unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 has not stopped the majority of states from legalizing either its medical or adult use.

The Bank Secrecy Act (“CSA”) takes part of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and defines it as ‘specified unlawful activity’ the makes any transaction with cannabis money laundering.

“Until Schedule 1 cannabis is a thing of the past, there is little choice but to deal in cash”

Image of man on moon – happened before legal cannabis.

Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

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How to Win a Cannabis License

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Here’s the takeaway from the video above regarding using credit cards to buy cannabis.

What it is:

  1. A Point of Banking System (PBS) creates a cash-free ATM
  2. The PBS uses your debit card, or credit card if you can remember your PIN, to do a cash transaction.
  3. It feels like you’re buying legal cannabis with credit cards.

What it is not:

  1. Using credit cards to buy your state-law compliant cannabis.
  2. Credit cards do not have a merchant code for cannabis
  3. Credit card companies push back on this because it is technically money laundering on their system of credit and they are fearful they will be shut down.

I think that the defunding of federal prosecution of the nation’s marijuana laws has implications on the legality of the transactions, but that may be misplaced due to the standards and practices of statutory drafting – which is such a dry topic that it will not be addressed here.

Currently, billions of dollars are being spent on cannabis transaction that are perfectly legal in the state in which they occur, while being somewhat banned in the country.  

Still, Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice have not taken any actions to stop Colorado, California, or any state.

If you have any topics related to operating a marijuana business, please click over to the youtube and leave it in the comments – and don’t forget to subscribe.  

Until next week, keep it legal because you deserve the best!


Banking and the Marijuana Industry






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