Although the federal government recently issued a set of new rules technically allowing the banking industry to do business with companies that sell marijuana, the Federal Reserve apparently remains opposed to facilitating such financial ventures, recently denying the application of a credit union poised to service the cannabis trade in Colorado.
A recent article in The New York Times suggests that Fourth Corner Credit Union in Denver, a financial institution seeking a “master account” allowing them to provide banking services for the state’s cannabis industry, had its application rejected earlier this month by the Fed of Kansas City.
After spending months attempting to appease the officials with the centralized banking system, in the end, Mark Mason, a lawyer overseeing the creation of the credit union, claims the Feds were only “trying to figure out a way to deny our application.”
The credit union, which is supported by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, has since filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve in hopes of receiving some retribution in the form of “equal access” to the banking system of the United States.
“The Fourth Corner Credit Union (“TFCCU”) sued the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the National Credit Union Administration in federal court in Denver to get a fair and impartial hearing on its request for a master account,” Mason said in a statement.
The lawsuit contends that the Federal Reserve does not have the proper guidelines in place to dictate who qualifies for a master account and who doesn’t. It is for this reason that Mason believes the credit union was “treated unfairly,” and that the Fed’s entire application process for them was not procedural.
If Fourth Corner wins the lawsuit, which they argue will happen as long as they go in front of “a federal judge who is only concerned in applying the law,” the credit union could likely begin accepting millions of dollars in cash deposits from Colorado dispensaries.
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