By Mark Goldfogel
It’s like knowing you have the winning horse, but not having any idea how long the race will be.
Prohibition is over!
Mathematically, logistically, financially, and most importantly, medically.
Sixty-two percent of the U.S. population lives in a state with medical access to cannabis, and 21% live in a state where adults can purchase for recreational use. When you include hemp and low THC laws for states, 96.68% of our country live in a state that directly violates the Controlled Substance Act.
On November 16, 2016, The Fourth Corner Credit Union argued its case in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Our lawyer, Mark Mason, explained that the federal district court erred by not ordering the Federal Reserve to issue Fourth Corner a master account. He argued Fourth Corner’s charter is to support the movement and the industry. It will service the industry and the movement as allowed by law, nothing more.
Denying any movement the right to a legitimate and dedicated financial institution denies its basic constitutional rights. The rules regarding banking in the highly regulated cannabis industry are difficult to implement and require specialized skills and technology. As the rules evolve, a financial institution dedicated to serving their needs long-term is the logical solution.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union is a not for-profit, state-chartered financial institution dedicated to the support of the hemp and cannabis movement. This movement has significantly more support than either recent presidential candidate.
This movement is moving rapidly. Since our case was heard in the Colorado federal district court, nine more states have legalized some form or cannabis use. That number has expanded by 16 states since The Fourth Corner Credit Union project was first initiated.
Public safety and taxation are two of the core functions of government. “Cash creates corruption,” to quote Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper.
Denying state-licensed institutions access to banking is hypocritical. Opponents of legalized cannabis should be in favor of banking in the industry. It will keep the criminal element out of out of the legalized market and safeguard the dangers of cash.
Regardless of the court’s ruling, we must have banking for this industry. In the meantime men and women are being asked to do the very dangerous and unnecessary task of moving large amounts of cash from place to place in order to pay for goods, services and taxes. Without banking, there is no legitimate way to transfer funds for business purposes or have true traceability.
Prohibition is over. Allowing billions of dollars in cash to remain on the street is an untenable situation. Legitimate banking will come to licensed cannabis businesses.