We just released our Cole Memo podcast episode this week –

There’s a lot of confusion in the cannabis industry – and in the mainstream media, banking circles, and generally everywhere – when it comes to the specifics of cannabiz banking.  Our Cole Memo podcast aims to shed some light on the situation. 

[LISTEN: Cannabiz Banking + Cole Memo Podcast – PODCAST EPISODE]

It’s a common misconception among, well, among nearly everyone really, that banks “can’t” open accounts for cannabis and marijuana companies – we see that repeated all over the place.

Bottom line, banks CAN work with cannabiz. Click To Tweet

There’s a lot more to the Cole Memo podcast than just a dry dissection of the document – we talk about Ogden, Cole’s other memos (you knew about those, right?) that led up to the 2014 version that we’re still using today.  The Cole Memos were each pretty specific to a topic, and they didn’t always create the desired result (that first one was disastrous for the industry, talk about unintended consequences!). 

[READ: Banking the marijuana business – what you’re going to need to get started – ARTICLE]

Cole was a pretty smart guy, and he understood that the difference in state law and federal law, at least when it comes to cannabis, was a murky sort of no man’s land, and that the government was going to have to decide how to best handle the situation, without stepping on the states’ rights.  

“The conclusions that we came to were, number one, that we cannot preempt the decriminalization, because the CSA itself says the federal government is not preempting the field here. The states are free to have their own laws. So the conclusion was we could not force the states to abandon their legalization. Now, in essence, people are going to smoke marijuana in those states.

Congress wasn’t super helpful at that point, although we do see numerous members of Congress such as Blumenauer, Rorhrabacher, Polis, and Young, who created the Congressional Cannabis Caucus; other members such as Booker, Thomas, Morgan, Paul and Gillibrand have contributed to or sponsored legislation that would make it easier on the cannabis industry to legally bank, but nothing has come of these yet.  

So what do we spend a half hour talking about in this episode?

Topics covered in the Cole Memo podcast episode:

  • Ogden Memo
  • All 3 Cole Memos
  • Hinchey – Rorhrabacher – Farr Amendment
  • Sessions and the revival of civil asset forfeiture; Congressional response to this revival

Whether you are new to the industry, already banked somewhere legitimately, or just trying to get by, you’re going to want to tune in and get the scoop on why the banking situation is so difficult, and what we can do – as individuals, business owners, and an industry – to help create opportunities to legitimize the money and get on the road to having bank accounts and transaction processing options just like the local wine store, restaurant or retailer.  

As always, if you have questions, drop us a line. 

We’re happy to share what we know, and we are always matching cannabiz companies with service providers that we believe will produce a good fit together. 

Cannabis Banking – The Cole Memo + FinCEN, Part 1 – Ep 51