Federal Reserve Denies Bank Catering To Marijuana Clients

Ed Andrieski/AP Photo
A caregiver picks out a marijuana bud for a patient at a marijuana dispensary in Denver in a file photo.

The Federal Reserve says as long as marijuana is illegal under federal law it cannot allow a bank that caters to marijuana industry.

The Federal Reserve argues they can’t allow a marijuana bank for the same reason they can’t allow a bank specializing in business with North Korea -- it’s against federal law. That’s their response to a lawsuit filed by The Fourth Corner Credit Union in Denver.

The credit union alleges the Federal Reserve unfairly denied them the ability to open.

Attorneys for the credit union argue that the Justice Department has given established banks the option to work with marijuana businesses. But the banking industry has asserted that's not enough legal cover.

The Federal Reserve suggested in its legal filing that the best way to solve this is through Congress. Several bills have been introduced, but are going nowhere.