If R. Brooke Jackson was a congressman, he would rule in favor of banks that want to open accounts for marijuana businesses.
But at a hearing on Monday, Jackson told lawyers for the Fourth Corner Credit Union that he is a U.S. district court judge who must uphold existing federal laws that make it illegal for banks to serve cannabis-related clients.
Judge Jackson’s comments don’t bode well for the Colorado credit union, which filed a lawsuit in October asking the court to issue an injunction forcing the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to let it open a master account so it can serve the cannabis industry.
Lending institutions can’t operate without master accounts, which given them access to the country’s banking system.
Jackson said he would take Fourth Corner’s request for an injunction under advisement and issue a written ruling, according to The Denver Post. He also encouraged lawyers on both sides to negotiate a solution that doesn’t violate federal law.
In November 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department issued guidelines on how banks could accept money from marijuana businesses.
An official with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said last year that just 105 banks and credit unions service companies that sell cannabis, while a Marijuana Business Daily survey found that 60% of marijuana businesses don’t have bank accounts.