Although the federal government has thus far largely taken a hands-off approach to states that legalize marijuana in one form or another, a report Monday from Rocky Mountain PBS I-News and USA Today revealed that federal agents are still compiling evidence against cannabis businesses.
The federal government has stockpiled more than 1,100 “suspicious activity reports” that could possibly be used to shut down state-sanctioned marijuana companies across the country, according to the report.
In just a seven-month period this year, between February and August, banks filed over 475 “marijuana termination” reports, essentially telling the feds that they shut down accounts because of potential criminal activity.
The suspicious activity reports were born from guidelines for banks and the cannabis industry established by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which were ironically were meant to make it easier for marijuana companies to get bank accounts.
“Banks are required by law to report when they think that a business is making money from something illegal, and marijuana is still federally illegal,” a FinCEN spokesman told I-News and USA Today. That in turn led to a reprimand from a pair of U.S. senators, who wrote that the guidance is “dangerously misleading.”