East Hawaii News

DFI: Marijuana Dispensaries and Banking

October 26, 2015, 10:18 AM HST
* Updated October 26, 10:21 AM
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During the Hawai’i State Bar Association Convention on Oct. 23, Commissioner of Financial Institutions Iris Ikeda presented considerations for banks and other financial institutions when dealing with marijuana-related businesses.

Medical marijuana dispensaries could begin to do business as early as July 2016, but before then, banks and financial institutions should prepare.

“The approval for licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries presents an upcoming challenge for banks,” said Commissioner Ikeda. “Before authorized dispensaries begin doing business… banks and other financial institutions dealing with these businesses should take into account regulatory risks posed by the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act.”

Currently, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions, which regulates state-chartered and state-licensed financial institutions, is in communication with Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Deposit Insurance Corportation regulators on the implementation of Hawai’i’s law for medical marijuana.

Financial institutions have received guidance from DFI on opening accounts for marijuana-related businesses. DFI also provides guidance from federal agencies called “Banking and Marijuana.”

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