Clark Hill Attorney, Thomas A. Brooks, published in Financier Worldwide, March 2018 Issue, “ To serve your community or sit in jail: is there any reward to this banking risk?”
Clark Hill Attorney, Thomas A. Brooks’s article, “To serve your community or sit in jail: is there any reward to this banking risk?” was published in Financier Worldwide.
Brooks states, “Forty-six states have allowed some form of cannabis use within their borders. This industry is severely hampered, however, because of the risks that banks face in providing financial services to the cannabis industry, including growers, processors and dispensaries. Because THC is a drug listed in the Controlled Substances Act, it is against federal law to deal with any drug containing THC, a derivative of the cannabis plant. While the Department of Justice provided some flexibility regarding prosecution of those dealing with cannabis in the past, that flexibility was recently rescinded. FinCEN, however, still maintains its Guidelines for banks that facilitate financing the cannabis industry. The result is confusion for banks, and higher risks to the local community because a cash only industry leads to inconvenience, tax evasion, fraud and other criminal activity. How can banks continue to serve their communities and reduce the risks associated with financing an industry that is legal under state law? This article sheds light on the problem and potential solutions.”
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Thomas A. Brooks concentrates his practice in financial services issues and represents clients before state and federal financial institution regulatory agencies as well as before Congress and the Executive Branch of government. His practice includes a wide variety of matters, including directors and officers liability issues, Dodd-Frank Act mandates, corporate governance requirements, BSA/AML issues, new financial services products, e-commerce, mergers and acquisitions, and a variety of other legislative and regulatory issues.