Fourth Corner Credit Union, a Colorado financial institution which formed in the wake of marijuana legalization within the state, was refused a master bank account via the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The people at the Federal Reserve refused the account on the basis of marijuana still being illegal, and that the transportation of funds exchanged as a result of marijuana sales is therefore equally illegal.
But now it looks like Fourth Corner could be getting a second chance at that account, thanks to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Any financial institution, once formed, needs a master account from the Federal Reserve in order to be legally operational, and the aim of Fourth Corner’s formation is to serve marijuana-centered businesses that have had little luck in securing funding from traditional financial institutions.
In essence, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is shaking its finger at the Federal Reserve for being suspicious of what Fourth Corner might do once it received a master account. Circuit court Judge Robert Bacharach stated that Fourth Corner was willing to obey the law, and that the district court’s ruling to dismiss Fourth Corner’s case on mere grounds of suspicion was “erroneous.”
It’s up in the air as to whether the Federal Reserve will appeal, of course, let alone whether the Supreme Court will take the case. However, the decision by the court of appeals says a lot about just how far this country has come regarding marijuana legalization, which is being played out via the battle of states’ rights vs current federal drug laws.
The facts concerning marijuana are outweighing previously held beliefs. New legal precedents are being set. Fourth Corner Credit Union’s case is no less unprecedented, so if the outcome is positive, the legal waves will be felt everywhere.