Anonymous asked Mark Slaugh, 7/18/2017 3:16:15 AM

Do you have any reaction PNC's shut down of the bank account of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML)?

Since they are an organization that doesn't even touch the plant, do you think it foreshadows more bad news to come? 
7/18/2017 5:28:48 PM,
Mark Slaugh replied:
My reaction is that PNC is overreacting. It is possible they felt the pressure from regulators, but having held these accounts for years, they have a history that would likely reflect small dollar donations that pose a small risk. If the bank were to instill a compliance program for marijuana related businesses (MRB's) they could mitigate this regulatory risk with the Feds. As long as the business is ancillary, it should be insulated from the RICO act and money laundering. Indeed, the definition of an MRB often only extends to the direct-plant businesses and can vary from bank to bank to also encompass ancillary companies. Or, now, non-profit advocacy organizations. Banks are by nature, risk adverse, so I'm not shocked - though it is a bummer for the organizations affected and the movement overall.