Posted by Kevin Merritt
Since medical marijuana became legal in Arizona in 2010, operators in the industry have faced significant challenges in cash management and banking. At the time, effectively every financial institution refused to provide any services, since marijuana is still a Schedule 1 prohibited substance under federal law, with stiff penalties for possession, distribution and sale. As the result of that classification, every financial transaction involving the proceeds of the cannabis industry can arguably be considered money laundering under federal law. Times are changing, however…
As the legal landscape across the country has evolved, with 33 states now allowing either medical or recreational use of cannabis, the banking industry is starting to follow suit.
Author: Tim Forsman
Issue: January 16, 2018
On June 6, 2018, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided State v. Jones in a contested 2-1 decision that left Arizona’s medical cannabis regime in a state of limbo. Rodney Jones was a registered qualifying patient under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (“AMMA”), which meant that he was allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana under State law. Despite his status as a registered cardholder, Mr. Jones was arrested in Yavapai County and charged with possession with a small quantity of processed cannabis resin commonly known as hashish.
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