California bank’s merger could force FDIC to rule on cannabis banking


A really intriguing story published by S&ampP. The banks actions will imply somebody at the FDIC will have to make some severe choices that could lead to a quantity of ramifications for the cannabis sector not only in CA but also nationwide.

A smaller California bank’s merger application could force the FDIC to take a firmer stand on marijuana banking.

On June 14, Oakland, Calif.-primarily based Summit Bancshares Inc. received word from the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Corp.’s San Francisco Regional Workplace that the regulator would advise denial of its application for merger with Faciam Holdings Inc., due to the bank’s business enterprise program to service marijuana-connected corporations, or MRBs, according to a shareholder letter. Marijuana is legal for each recreational and medicinal purposes in California, but it is nonetheless illegal below federal law.

The bank plans to continue with the merger anyway.

“The Board of Summit has decided to not withdraw the application and to need the FDIC to go on record to deny the application,” Board Chair Shirley Nelson wrote in the letter.

The bank’s board believes the matter is significant adequate to be decided by FDIC leadership, stated Gary Findley, a lawyer with Gary Steven Findley &amp Associates and legal counsel for the bank. “It’s a policy selection,” he stated in an interview.

This is the initial time the FDIC has been asked to straight grant or deny a bank access to cannabis banking, according to Findley.

Existing guidance from the Economic Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, calls for banks to file a suspicious activity report anytime an MRB opens an account and just about every 90 days thereafter, even if marijuana is legal below state law.

Banks that offer solutions to MRBs could be prosecuted for income-laundering or drug trafficking below federal laws, according to Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Business Association, a trade group for marijuana corporations.

According to a short published by the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, FinCEN information showed that 633 depository institutions offered banking solutions to MRBs as of March 31. This is an enhance of 147 depositories from FinCEN’s September 2018 information.

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