PNC Bank shuts down Marijuana Policy Project’s accounts

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PNC Bank – the sixth-largest financial institution in the United States – has closed Marijuana Policy Project’s accounts, a move that underscores worries the Trump administration will try to interfere with state-licensed medical and recreational cannabis programs.

The move is especially noteworthy because non-plant-touching cannabis organizations like MPP – which is a nonprofit cannabis advocacy group – have generally had an easier time opening bank accounts.

The Pittsburgh-based bank told MPP Chief Financial Officer Nick Field in May it planned to close the accounts July 7, The Washington Post reported. The reason: An account audit showed that MPP received funding from plant-touching businesses.

“They told me it is too risky. The bank can’t assume the risk,” Field told the newspaper.

MPP opened its PNC account in 1995, according to the Post.

A spokeswoman for the bank – which controlled nearly $358 billion in assets through February – told the newspaper that, “as a federally regulated financial institution, PNC complies with all applicable federal laws and regulations.”