John Davis, CEO of Northwest Patient Resource Center, runs two medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle. In Washington state, Davis runs a legal enterprise that generates thousands of dollars each quarter in state tax revenues. However, since selling pot is still a federal crime and banks are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, banks are hesitant to grant Mr. Davis an account, because they may be subject to violating anti-money laundering laws. Currently, everyone involved is waiting for some type of decision from Attorney General Eric Holder, regarding the cavern that exists between state and federal laws.
1. How do you think the issues presented in the Lamm article should be resolved?
2. Without resolution about the banking issues, what are the risks for businessmen like Mr. Davis?
3. Explain Mr. Davis’ statement about the current situation “encouraging the black market.”
CNN Video. (2013) Problem in Seattle: Cash smells like pot. CNN, April 7 (Retrievable online http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2013/04/07/komo-skunky-money.komo?iref=videosearch)
Lamm, G. (2013). You pay taxes, but can’t get a bank account because your business is selling marijuana. Pudget Sound Business Journal, April 5 (Retrievable online at http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2013/04/when-you-run-a-business-selling.html?page=all)