BankThink You already bank the pot industry. You just don’t know it

Banks have mostly chosen to stay on the sidelines of the cannabis rush, deterred by the regulatory uncertainty around an industry that is still illegal at the federal level and concerns that the Trump administration seems opposed to legalization efforts.

But it may be a bigger challenge than financial institutions realize to keep their hands completely clean of the marijuana business. The burgeoning sector touches not just those who grow and sell pot in states where it is legal, but agricultural supply providers, commercial real estate holders of lands for farming marijuana, attorneys and lobbyists advocating for the new industry, and many more ancillary businesses.

The difficulty in avoiding marijuana-related business of any kind, and the regulatory risks inherent for banks that — without knowing it — are banking ancillary businesses that receive marijuana-related revenue, increase the need for banks to advocate for regulatory support of their servicing pot businesses.

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