The Federal Reserve has officially rejected the request to establish a
"master account" for Colorado's booming marijuana industry.
An acceptance would have meant the ability to accept credit and debit
cards, electronic transactions, and given "greater access" to
our financial system as a whole.
According to The New York Times, the Fourth Corner Credit Union, run by Mark Mason, applied for the master
account in November. While the set back is disappointing, it was not altogether
unexpected: while recreational marijuana has become legal in several states,
it is still federally prohibited. "I felt all along like they were
trying to figure out a way to deny our application," Mason told the press.
Colorado's director of marijuana coordination, Andrew Freedman, expressed
disappointment in the ruling, as well, especially in light of the Fourth
Corner Credit Union and the Colorado's preparedness and willingness
to follow federal law. "We thought it was a good solution to the
problem. Here was a place willing to take on the risk of banking this
underbanked group—and that could do rigorous compliance," Freedman said.
Staying a Cash-Only Industry
Because of the Fed's ruling, the marijuana industry in Colorado will
have to stay cash-only. For many small marijuana businesses, that means
dealing with safes, armored cars, and other security measures. Not only
does it make some of these businesses a target for crime, but an all cash
industry also makes it difficult for the state to properly tax and reap
the revenue benefits that helped make marijuana legal in the first place.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union, however, is not going down without a fight:
they have already filed two lawsuits, one against the Fed and one against
the credit union administration. According to Mr. Mason, the Fed acted
inappropriately and not according to their own rules when rejecting the
Fourth Corner Credit Union application. "We weren't treated fairly.
We weren't treated according to procedure," Mason told
The Times, adding that the lawsuit will make it so "a federal judge who is
only concerned in applying the law can make the [final] decision."
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, then your choice
in representation matters. At
The Samuelson Law Firm, I have dedicated my firm to advocating on behalf of my clients. Clients
that come to my firm can rest assured that their rights will protected
and every avenue towards a reduction or dismissal will be aggressively pursued.
I am ready to navigate your case during this difficult time.
Contact my firm today.