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First penalty for pot banking violation lands on credit union

 

On March 16, 2021, American Banker published an article on a Michigan credit union Live Life Federal Credit Union as being the first financial institution to be penalized by a U.S. federal regulator for not effectively following FinCen guidelines for banking cannabis.  Whereas marijuana remains federally illegal most banks and credit unions continue to avoid the industry, while those that choose to serve the industry must have robust cannabis-specific policies, procedures and programs to do so without raising the ire of banking regulators.

Furthermore, financial institutions with stated "no marijuana" policies must ensure that they're effectively identifying and managing cannabis risk.  With 45,000+ Tier MRBs in 30+ states, it is imperative that banks, regulators, and their boards have a clear understanding of how MRBs may be touching their business.

CRB Monitor's Founder & CEO, Steve Kemmerling, was one of the cannabis-banking industry experts quoted in the article.  Steve was tapped by American Banker for his knowledge of why FinCEN's marijuana-banking statistics over-estimate that number of depository institutions that service the marijuana industry, which he also wrote a full blog post on (Why FinCEN's Marijuana Banking Count Is Too High). 

These banks aren’t getting in trouble solely for banking marijuana. They’re getting in trouble for doing so poorly.”

Reference the full article here

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