Sending Office: Honorable Denny Heck
On January 4, 2018, the Department of Justice announced that they would be rescinding the guidance put in place nearly five years ago, meant to protect individuals and businesses operating in accordance with their local state laws. This announcement was
done without consultation with other agencies or Congress. We should act to minimize the consequences of this ill-advised decision.
Please join us in signing onto a bipartisan letter to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) urging the preservation of the 2014 guidance entitled “Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses.” This guidance is based
on the now-rescinded Justice Department Cole Memos.
FinCEN published guidance to financial institutions to encourage safe business practices and reduce the need for all cash businesses in the marijuana industry. These common-sense rules outline the Federal government’s role in targeting financial regulator
enforcement of marijuana laws while not actively pursuing hardworking people who choose to start marijuana businesses which comply with state regulations.
The 2014 FinCEN guidance has afforded American citizens the ability to start their own businesses and flourish in a newly burgeoning economy without fear of arrest and legal persecution. Furthermore, it has allowed financial institutions the predictability
and stability to serve these clients eliminating the need to operate solely on cash which makes our communities safer.
The impacts of the DOJ decision have yet to be fully felt and it is unclear how law enforcement and regulatory institutions will react. It is important the FinCEN guidance remain in effect. Please join us in sending a letter to FinCEN asking them to keep
their current policies in place.
If you have any questions or would like to sign onto this letter, please contact Graham (Graham.Markiewicz@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Heck’s office or Colin (Colin.firstname.lastname@example.org)
in Rep. Perlmutter’s office. The deadline for signatures is Friday, January 12, 2018 at noon.
Denny Heck Ed Perlmutter
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Acting Director Jamal El-Hindi
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Department of the Treasury
2070 Chain Bridge Road
Acting Director El-Hindi,
We are writing to express our continuing support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance from 2014 on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses. This guidance was developed and issued in conjunction
with the Department of Justice and has provided much needed stability to a growing market.
We urge FinCEN to preserve this guidance to continue to support banking infrastructure and access to financial institutions for businesses that are operating in accordance with state and local law and abiding by 8 other stated factors in your guidance. FinCEN’s
stated priorities have allowed such businesses to conduct commerce more safely through financial institutions which reduces the use of all cash, improves public safety, and reduces fraud. Leaving your guidance unchanged will continue to encourage small companies
to make investments by freeing up access to capital. It will also further provide for well regulation and oversight through suspicious activity reports.
Rescinding this guidance would inject uncertainty in the financial markets. Attempts to disrupt this market are dangerous and imprudent. We see the removal of protections on financial institutions, operating in accordance with state laws, as a poor alternative
to creating meaningful policy though the political process. This guidance must remain intact because the risks involved in removing it are too great.
We believe any move to eliminate revoke or change the 2014 guidance is unwise. We ask you stay the current course, a proven method that both encourages safe commerce and discourages illegitimate markets.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0