Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) is Pro Law, Not Anti-Marijuana
- Pro Law, Not Anti-Marijuana
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) say the giant bank is not making a political statement, that it is following the law of the land; marijuana is not legal under federal law.
So goes the bank’s response to backlash over terminating a pro-medical marijuana Florida politician’s banking relationship because of her advocacy and contributions from the medical marijuana industry lobbyists.
“As a national bank that is federally regulated, Wells Fargo must comply with federal law on the topic of marijuana, even in instances where state laws may differ,” the San Francisco-based lender said Wednesday in a statement.
“Since federal law prohibits the sale and use of marijuana, national banks like Wells Fargo may not knowingly bank or provide services to marijuana businesses or for related activities.”
Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for Florida state Agricultural Commissioner who has run a pro-medical marijuana campaign, said the bank notified her on 3 August that it was closing her account over her ties to the marijuana industry.
Ms. Fried said her campaign is moving its accounts to BB&T Corp (NYSE:BBT), which has not yet raised concerns publicly about the marijuana related banking issue.
Ms. Fried used the development to point out that medical marijuana is legal in more states than it is not, and to blast businesses and officials who she says discriminate against a legal industry.
Note: Medical marijuana still remains illegal under federal law, a continuing challenge to the industry.
“While we recognize that resolving the differences between federal and state laws on this matter has become an industry problem, we make these decisions based on the requirements of federal law and not because of any political view on the topic,” Wells Fargo said in a published statement.
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