Colorado’s top federal prosecutor says that he would never tell banks working with legal marijuana businesses in the state that they are devoid of criminal liability.
“As federal prosecutors,” Jason Dunn told The Colorado Sun on Tuesday, “we will never tell them that what they are doing is lawful under federal law. There’s always a risk, just like a retail marijuana business in Colorado, that they face federal prosecution. There is no carve out from federal prosecutions.”
Dunn and his office, however, have never prosecuted a financial institution whose clients include cannabis companies or, for that matter, a retail marijuana establishment operating legally under state law.
“But that’s not to say we haven’t looked at them and that’s not to say that we’re not continuing to look at them,” he said.
Dunn says he expressed his position during an August conference in Denver for banks doing business with, or seeking to work with, the pot industry. He spoke to The Sun after a story published Tuesday about how as many as 35 financial institutions are offering services to hundreds of cannabis businesses under the close watch of federal regulators, even though marijuana is still illegal under federal law. [Read more at The Colorado Sun]