By Dow Jones Business News
Federal regulators will allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that are legal under state laws as customers as long as financial institutions make regular reports to the Treasury Department and watch for suspicious activity.
The new guidance issued Friday is meant to address contradictory state and federal laws regarding marijuana. The drug is illegal under federal law, but 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it for certain uses. Banks are subject to federal laws against doing business with drug traffickers, which has made them reluctant to make loans and take deposits from legal pot dispensaries.