Colorado cannabis credit union sues U.S. Federal Reserve

By Oscar Pascual |

The nation’s first cannabis credit union is serving the Federal Reserve before it can serve their first banking client.

The Fourth Corner Credit Union (TFCCCU) was set to be the first of its kind to provide financial services for the Colorado’s booming marijuana industry, only to be quietly denied by a Federal letter of rejection sent in July.

TFCCCU have now filed a lawsuit in federal court against the central banking system, accusing the Fed of preventing “equal access” to the financial system, reports the New York Times.

Mark Mason, a South Carolina attorney with a leading role in the TFCCUU, believes the Fed were looking for any and all reasons to reject the credit union’s application.

“I felt all along like they were trying to figure out a way to deny our application,” Mason told the Times, adding that a “federal judge who is only concerned in applying the law can [now] make the decision.”

Mason confirmed the lawsuit in an email to the Denver Post sent on Thursday night.

“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 by e-mail Thursday night. “TFCCU looks forward to having this matter ruled upon by a federal judge.”

The lack of federally-legal banking in legalized states like Colorado and Washington have forced several business owners to hide large amounts of cash, or to launder it through purchasing exquisite glass pieces with large amounts of cash. But current legislation such as the CARERS Act and the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act hope to bridge the gap between state and federal cannabis laws.

“Congress has to act. Forcing marijuana businesses — which are on pace to do almost $1 billion in sales in Colorado alone — to operate entirely in cash puts a bullseye on those businesses, their employees, their customers and everyone around them,” Said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Yahoo News. “State, federal and local law enforcement have rightly called it a public safety nightmare.”

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