One of the major impediments to the legitimization of recreational marijuana in the United States has been the prohibitive and often incomplete laws governing how to handle the money it produces. But the Obama administration has given the banking industry a more explicit path to handling the money generated by the industry, unveiling a framework on Feb 16 that more clearly defines how banks should interact with the marijuana industry.
The rules (PDF), which were released by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) arm off the Department of Treasury (DOT), closely echo the sentiments that the Department of Justice (DOJ) released in 2013. The rules canonize the stipulations released by the DOJ in the Cole Memo, with priorities designed to stop illicit activities related to marijuana sale. Among the priorities are keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, preventing its growth and sale from supporting the distribution of other drugs, stopping pot users from driving while under the influence, and banning violence as it relates to the sale of pot.