(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — Now that marijuana has been legalized in Washington State, banks, which are federally regulated, are in a tough position as marijuana is still banned by federal laws.
Bank tellers are instructed and trained not to accept money that smells like pot.
David Straus, president of Fortune Bank, says he won’t open an account to a known pot dealer, but says that it’s likely that other banks will.
“I think there will be banks that will take it, but I think there’s got to be a lot more clarity before most banks will get involved in something that’s illegal at the federal level,” Straus said.
“Right now it just doesn’t make sense to me to take that kind of risk.”
This is a problem for people like John Davis, who runs a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle. Davis says that in order to deposit money he makes through his now-legal business, he needs to immediately seal his cash in a safe to prevent it from smelling like marijuana.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho