On his Ask the Governor show on public radio last night, Governor Phil Murphy said he has a big meeting today about his idea to create a state owned bank, according to reporter Joe Hernandez.
.@GovMurphy says he has a big meeting tomorrow on his idea to create a public bank in N.J. which hasn’t gotten much attention since his campaign
— Joe Hernandez (@byJoeHernandez) February 5, 2019
As Hernandez noted in his tweet, the Murphy’s public bank idea has not gotten much attention since his 2017 campaign. So why now?
Why does New Jersey need a state owned bank? Will MVC offices double as check cashing tellers, creating even worse lines on the last Friday of the month?
What could a state owned bank do that private sector and federally insured banks can’t do? Take deposits from and make loans and investments to businesses in the “legal” marijuana industry.
“Legal” marijuana is currently a $9 billion industry that most banks won’t touch because the production, sale and possession of cannabis is illegal under federal law, according to Forbes.
Banking with an enterprise that traffics in a controlled dangerous substance is also known as money laundering and carries significant federal penalties, according to a 2015 Congressional Research Service Report.
Would a state owned bank be subject to seizure and asset forfeiture? Would a governor or president of a state owned bank be prosecuted and subject to 20 years in prison for money laundering? Not likely. There would be significant constitutional and political obstacles.Drug Offenses_ Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws