Bank of America will handle proceeds connected to marijuana sales despite federal restrictions. Under federal policy, the government views money from marijuana sales as money laundering.
But as Washington state moves forward on its plan to legalize marijuana, the state’s banker, Bank of America, says it will be willing to accommodate new pot businesses, according to Washington state Treasurer Jim McIntire. "I mean, in fact, we’re already taking some tax revenues, I believe, for medical marijuana. So it’s not a real issue in terms of their perception."
McIntire says his office has had several discussions with Bank of America and that the bank is fine with accepting money connected to legal marijuana sales.
But McIntire adds that most of the money could be in cash since other banks may be reluctant to work with pot businesses. He says that raises questions about public safety issues for businesses and customers. Retail pot stores could open up next spring.