36 votes

Banks Say No to Marijuana Money, Legal or Not

By Serge F. Kovaleskijan
From the front page of this Sunday's New York Times:

In his second-floor office above a hair salon in north Seattle, Ryan Kunkel is seated on a couch placing $1,000 bricks of cash — dozens of them — in a rumpled brown paper bag. When he finishes, he stashes the money in the trunk of his BMW and sets off on an adrenalized drive downtown, darting through traffic and nervously checking to see if anyone is following him.

Despite the air of criminality, there is nothing illicit in what Mr. Kunkel is doing. He co-owns five medical marijuana dispensaries, and on this day he is heading to the Washington State Department of Revenue to commit the ultimate in law-abiding acts: paying taxes. After about 25 minutes at the agency, Mr. Kunkel emerges with a receipt for $51,321.

“Carrying such large amounts of cash is a terrible risk that freaks me out a bit because there is the fear in my mind that the next car pulling up beside me could be the crew that hijacks us,” he said. “So, we have to play this never-ending shell game of different cars, different routes, different dates and different times.”

Mr. Kunkel and his business partner, Mr. Berman, left. David Ryder for The New York Times
Legal marijuana merchants like Mr. Kunkel — mainly medical marijuana outlets but also, starting this year, shops that sell recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington — are grappling with a pressing predicament: Their businesses are conducted almost entirely in cash because it is exceedingly difficult for them to open and maintain bank accounts, and thus accept credit cards.


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Screw em. The free market will have a solution... This is just another reason never to walk into a bank again

Michael Nystrom's picture

The federal government is going to make this as hard as possible


To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.


banks have moral limits too...

No, they don't.

They're only worried that federal thieves will make life impossible for them if they aid and abet the breaking of the federal drug "laws." The banks are caving to blackmail, emphatically NOT standing on principle. Banks worry about principal, not principle.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

That was my attempt

at sarcasm.

You may find this helpful

Use purple, the Daily Paul's very own sarcasm font.

Here's how it's done.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

And THEN!!!

This bone head has his face plastered all over the internet complaining he is worried about getting hijacked!
Someone will be setting in wait.

What A maroon.

I love my country
I am appalled by my government

Easy solutions

You might think about withholding your funds and re-investing in the community or business. Of course that would get you in trouble. The original problem is why are you paying the same bureaucracy that forced people into jails for lifetimes to stop what they now use as revenue? Why have we added to the criminal coffers of bureaucrats? What possible solution can that really offer to our problem of overspending, over-intrusive bureaucracy? Keep your money! Stop funding the various complexes that have ballooned as a result of government implemented solutions. Tip your police for staying the hell out of people's personal business. Encourage their involvement in stopping criminal legislatures from butting into areas that they have never had any business in! Just my honest opinion...



"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

Bitcoin exactly

Cut to government right out lose all that tax money oh I sold dried up green stuff for 1's and 0's sorry nothing for you uncle sam well you can have a 0 if you want.


I'll watch that dough for em.

But about myself I will not boast, except as it concerns my weaknesses (2 Cor 12:5). Let the unbelievers seek praise from each other; I wish that which is from God alone.

Right. What a problem to have.

Either not enough, or too much.