As marijuana of all kinds is very slowly getting destigmatized, legitimate business owners throughout the United States are facing some pretty serious financial management issues. Because not even medical marijuana is legal throughout all the states, banks are still forced to consider all businesses that involve marijuana to be illegal. So, here are some of the financial problems experienced by legitimate marijuana businesses.
Marijuana is still technically a Schedule 1 narcotic
The marijuana industry is undeniably growing, with more and more states legalizing the plant’s medicinal use, and others even its recreational use.
However, despite the rapidly reducing stigma that the drug is facing, legitimate businesses revolving around the plant are suffering from some serious financial issues.
The main issue would be that the state still considers the drug to be a Schedule 1 narcotic, meaning that it hold great potential for abuse, and no medical properties whatsoever.
Any institution that would be found to cooperate with such a business would be found guilty of money laundering, and even of being an accomplice. And this, unfortunately, includes banks.
Banks all over the country are not only refusing to open their metaphorical gates to marijuana businesses, but they are also closing the accounts of those associated with any such business.
This means that the multibillion dollars, fully legitimate, marijuana industry is forced to operate only in cash.
How this affects legitimate businesses
Besides the fact that it is very inconvenient, and that being unable to pay with plastic most definitely leads to fewer customers, this issue encourages a number of illegal practices, like tax fraud, and actual money laundering.
But many more businesses are suffering from other factors than just being forced to deal only in cash.
For example, the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine is an organization dealing in trade alone, without actually getting in contact with any marijuana. However, because of their name, the organization’s bank account was closed some time in 2013.
And they aren’t the only ones suffering.
The big problem is that the state doesn’t really consider the issue a priority, despite the industry bringing a large profit to the state via taxes – taxes which are difficult to be paid due the cash only limitations imposed by the state itself.
The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 was meant to make the issue easier to deal with, but the state refuses to acknowledge it yet, claiming more important issues are at hand.
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