State Owned Bank and Legal Weed: Perfect Together?

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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.

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


Posted: February 5th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Marijuana, New Jersey, Phil Murphy | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “State Owned Bank and Legal Weed: Perfect Together?”

  1. Beverly Brown said at 9:31 am on February 6th, 2019:

    Truly sad that your research on public banking is so inadequate. The Bank of Not th Dakota (hundred years old and going strong) and other public banks around the world have nothing to do with marijuana tax deposits. Instead they are focused on keeping capital flowing in there justifications when big banks and Wall Street pull out. They shore up smaller and local banks so they can continue to provide mortgages, small business loans, and loans to housing developers.
    Truly ashame that all you can think about is pot when the rest of us are looking for creative ways to keep capitalfowimg and ways to reinvest public money for the public good!