On the heels of yesterday’s historic announcement by the Obama Administration to leave Colorado and Washington’s recreational pot laws alone — ostensibly clearing the way for the rest of the fifty states in the union to do the same — comes news from the Department of Justice that should make banks feel much better about doing business in the new green states. A DOJ official said during a briefing that while prosecution of banks that deal with state-sanctioned pot growers and dispensaries can’t be completely ruled out if the banks engage in other illegal activities, just working with companies that deal in pot where it’s legal will not get you busted by the Feds.
Obviously this whole new paradigm is still in process, and there will be more bumps and kinks to work out, but one way you can tell the Obama administration is in it for the long-haul on pot reform is that the fact that they’re making their buddies in the banking industry feel safe about profiting off the new industries that will spring up in states that have the foresight to legalize and tax marijuana. This should come as even more confidence to the American people who change can happen, even if it’s slow and incremental. The door is now open for more states to take a step forward into the future, and in giving banks the approval to do business in those states, the Obama White House has handed Colorado and Washington a massive economic boost.
Watch Huff Post Live’s coverage of the DOJ’s decision here: