DENVER (AP) — A federal banking official took the unprecedented step Thursday of meeting with marijuana business owners. But Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George gave no indication that the industry is any closer to getting more access to banking services.
The Denver meeting was arranged by two Colorado congressmen who have tried unsuccessfully to pass laws expanding banking access for the pot industry. Also joining the closed-door meeting were Colorado bankers. It was thought to be the first meeting of a Federal Reserve president with pot businesses.
George listened to tales of pot-shop owners losing bank account after bank account because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Federal authorities last year released banking guidelines for the pot business. But many banks consider the guidelines inadequate and still refuse pot clients.