Despite being illegal under federal law, the marijuana industry is rapidly growing in many states around the country. As product and profits blossom, so do stockpiles of cash, because federal law prohibits banks from offering services to these “green” enterprises. Concerned that large amounts of cash will result in crime, legislators are supporting a new bill in bipartisan fashion. House Resolution 2076 would permit banking for marijuana businesses if they follow certain guidelines. But what does that mean for the banks and existing federal laws? Wouldn’t they still be aiding and abetting criminal activity?
In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi interview Tom Downey from Ireland Stapleton, Professor Sam Kamin from the University of Denver, and Leonard Frieling from NORML. Together they discuss existing federal restrictions, criminal penalties, and how H.R. 2076 might change the landscape. Tune in to hear about the Supremacy Clause, money laundering, and much more.
Tom Downey is a director and attorney at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, where he represents primarily liquor and marijuana businesses. Prior to that, he led Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses where he redrafted Denver’s policies and procedures for liquor licensing and wrote the original policies and procedures for Denver’s recreational marijuana licenses.
Sam Kamin is the Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law where he teaches ‘Representing the Marijuana Law Client’. His areas of research include criminal procedure, death penalty jurisprudence, federal courts, and constitutional remedies.
Leonard Frieling is the first ever chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Marijuana Law Committee and former executive director of Colorado NORML, which is part of a nationwide organization dedicated to reforming laws on marijuana. In addition, he is a criminal defense attorney with over 38 years of experience.
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