Banks are fearful of doing business in the Marijuana Industry. banks





The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has clearly stated that it will not seek to prosecute banks that are handling money from the legal sale of marijuana if:

  • none of the “enforcement priorities” exist, as outlined in the Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement from James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, dated August 29, 2013, and the Guidance Regarding Marijuana Related Financial Crimes from James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, dated February 14, 2014 (the “Cole Memos”); and
  • the marijuana sales are in compliance with state law (See, BSA Expectations Retarding Marijuana-Related Businesses from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, issued February 14, 2014 (the “FinCEN Memo”)).

Nevertheless, banks remain fearful of being shut down for handling cash generated from the sale of marijuana. Why? The answer is because banks have no way of ensuring that every dollar being deposited is coming from the legal sale of marijuana in compliance with state law versus the illegal sale of marijuana either on the black market or from a medical marijuana grower or dispensary that has not complied with state law.

So, what’s the answer? PayQwick is the answer!

PayQwick has built the most robust Bank Secrecy Act and Money Laundering Control Act Compliance Program ever seen. PayQwick’s BSA/AML Compliance Program incorporates all of the safeguards needed to provide banking services to the marijuana industry consistent with the guidelines issued by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in the Cole Memos and by U.S. Department of Justice in the FinCEN Memo.

PayQwick also ensures that marijuana businesses comply with state law. In Washington State, for example, PayQwick’s I-502 Compliance Assessment Program involves a detailed, quarterly audit that guarantees the business remains in compliance with state law.

In sum, financial institutions that open bank accounts for marijuana businesses participating in the PayQwick system can rely on PayQwick’s BSA/AML Compliance Program and PayQwick’s I-502 Compliance Assessment Program to ensure that none of the enforcement priorities listed in the Cole Memos are triggered and that none of the “red flags” listed in the FinCEN memo come to pass. To be safe, in fact, banks seeking to open accounts for marijuana businesses should require their customers to participate in the PayQwick system.

The Solution for Handling Cash in the Marijuana Industry!

PayQwick The Safe and Easy Way to Pay

Perhaps the biggest problem facing the legal marijuana business today is how to handle all the cash. The risk of violent crime remains high whenever so much cash is involved.

So, what’s the answer? PayQwick is the answer!

PayQwick’s electronic payment processing removes the cash from the entire marijuana industry, starting at the retail level and progressing all the way through to the producers (growers) and processors.

Here’s how it works:

Consumers sign up for their PayQwick account online and electronically transfer funds to their PayQwick account directly from their checking account using an ACH transfer. When they sign up, Consumers are mailed a physical PayQwick Card and can also download the PayQwick App to their smartphone. At this point, the consumer has “funded” or “loaded” their PayQwick account.

Marijuana retailers sign up for a PayQwick merchant account so they can accept the PayQwick Card at their retail store. And, marijuana producers and processors sign up for a PayQwick merchant account so they can accept payment via PayQwick from participating marijuana retailers.

Next, consumers use their PayQwick Card or PayQwick smartphone app to pay for marijuana at a participating retail location. No cash changes hands. But, the retailer’s PayQwick account is now “funded.”

Marijuana retailers, using revenue generated from sales on PayQwick Cards, now purchase marijuana inventory from producers and processors and pay for the marijuana by transferring money from the retailer’s PayQwick account to the producer/processor’s PayQwick account. Again, no cash changes hands.

Marijuana retailers, producers and processors also can transfer money from their PayQwick merchant account to their business bank account any time they like. They also can pay state excise taxes directly from their PayQwick account.

In sum, PayQwick provides electronic payment processing for all marijuana transactions, including both retail and wholesale transactions. Cash is neither needed nor used at any step in the process.