LIVE VIDEO: Live Newscast    Watch

New guidelines help banks deal with marijuana businesses

2:19 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
Before opening for business, a private security guard watches the door at 3D Cannabis Center, a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver. (Photo: Brennan Linsley, AP)
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +



WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - The federal government is formulating new guidelines that would make it easier for state-legalized marijuana businesses to have access to banks, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

In remarks at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, Holder said Justice and Treasury department officials will soon issue the new regulations in an attempt to provide clearer guidance to banks, which have been hesitant to do business with legal marijuana businesses for fear of possible prosecution under federal law.

"It's an attempt to deal with the reality that exists in these states,'' the attorney general said Thursday, referring to the 20 states and Washington, D.C., that have legalized marijuana for medical use. Two of those states - Colorado and Washington - also have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

"There is a public safety component to this,'' Holder said. "And you don't want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system.

"Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash, just kind of lying around with no place for it to (be) appropriately deposited is something that would worry me from just a law enforcement perspective,'' Holder said.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the attorney general's remarks represent "another indication that the Obama administration really is trying to act in good faith with respect to Colorado and Washington's efforts to regulate marijuana in a responsible way.''

You may also like... 

Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year

Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant

Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring

Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary

Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer

Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Most Watched Videos