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Marijuana banking rules remain hazy

first_imgHow is it possible that on the same day New York’s Department of Health was announcing the five companies that can legally manufacture and distribute medical marijuana next year, a credit union was suing in Colorado federal court for the right to provide banking services to legal marijuana businesses? Quite simply, the federal government has adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with regard to one of our nation’s most high profile issues.Even as New York, 21 other states and Washington, D.C., legalize marijuana to varying degrees, the federal government has refused to clearly authorize financial institutions to provide banking services to legal marijuana businesses.This situation is unsustainable for credit unions and for that matter banks caught in between diametrically opposed federal and state laws.Even those opposed to the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana-a group in which I count myself- should agree that it makes sense to give legal marijuana businesses access to banking services. Credit unions and banks provide a place for legitimate businesses to safeguard their funds (not to mention, the banking system can also track money diverted to illegal activities, and financial institutions play a key role in the collection of taxes). Unfortunately the federal government has been unwilling to unequivocally authorize credit unions and banks to provide these basic services in spite of the fact that an appropriate framework is already in place.The existing system of anti-money laundering laws works well, so long as everyone knows what is and is not illegal activity.. But it can’t work effectively when a business engages in an activity that is either perfectly legal or blatantly illegal depending on whether a credit union consults state or federal law.This is the conundrum that institutions considering opening accounts for legal marijuana face. Marijuana still remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, even though California legalized it for medical purposes in 1996. Are credit unions acting illegally if they open up their services to companies violating federal law?Federal efforts to address this dilemma have so far proven to be woefully inadequate. In December of 2013, both the Justice Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN—the financial regulator responsible for overseeing BSA compliance—issued memoranda explaining the circumstances under which financial institutions are authorized to service marijuana businesses. For example, the Justice Department said it would not prosecute businesses in states where marijuana was legal provided that a business was not being used to hinder core law enforcement priorities, such as preventing the distribution of drugs to minors or helping to fund gang activities. The FinCEN guidance established a burdensome framework of continuous regulatory filings for any institution serving pot businesses. As the Colorado Bankers Association said, these memos told financial institutions to “serve these customers at your own risk.” They emphasized that federal law makes marijuana possession and distribution illegal, and imposed record keeping requirements that make servicing the marijuana industry infeasible for all but the largest of institutions.The Justice Department and FinCen are not to blame. As long as Congress refuses to act, regulators can at best decide to look the other way when it comes to marijuana. And regulatory guidance is only as binding as the president and attorney general charged with enforcing it. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has stated that one of the first things he would do as president is repeal the Justice Department’s memorandum. This is hardly the type of certainty credit unions are looking for as they consider whether or not to open their doors to marijuana businesses.Is there a way out of this legal mess? Perhaps the lawsuits against the NCUA and the Kansas City Federal Reserve will help provide some brighter lines. But ultimately Congress must deal with the issue on the federal level once and for all. No industry can sustain itself cut off from the banking system. Either it is legal to provide banking services to marijuana businesses in states where marijuana is legal, or, notwithstanding the broad-based and growing support for legalizing marijuana in this country, cannabis remains illegal as a matter of federal law and the statutes of 22 states are void. 63SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: www.nycua.org Detailslast_img read more

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Get involved to get the most out of CUNA Councils

first_imgDiscounts: Council members save 25% on registration for CUNA Council Conferences, and 10% on most CUNA schools, conferences and webinars. Additional member-exclusive discounts are added throughout the year.Bottom line? It’s easy to Get Involved in CUNA Councils. The opportunities are all there—all you have to do is jump in! Resources: With their file libraries, Councils empower professionals to find, share and exchange tools that enable top-level performance. Members can download valuable documents from the library, including white papers, strategic plans, job descriptions and much more.Some Councils also offer exclusive resources specific to their audience (e.g. CUNA CFO Council includes access to Thomson-Reuters Checkpoint™).Education: An annual conference is held for six of the seven Councils, each offering incredible learning and professional development value. Thought-leaders and bold keynote speakers host informative sessions that explore the hottest issues in each field, allowing attendees to broaden their horizons and discover valuable new perspectives.Members also gain access to live and recorded virtual roundtables, where industry experts discuss prominent topics in the movement and unearth meaningful insights that you can put to use.Awards: Presented at the annual conferences, CUNA Councils Awards celebrate the best achievements in the credit union industry. By becoming a member, you’ll be able to enter your credit union or one of your peers into awards consideration and a chance at national recognition. 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Natalie Sherry Membership, marketing, and engagement professional with a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, whose experience spans branding and marketing management, membership recruiting and retention, trade association and professional society … Web: www.cunacouncils.org Detailscenter_img Whether it’s the recipe book collecting dust in your cupboard or the brand-new bike stuck in your garage for the summer, unused resources are missed opportunities. This is especially true when they have the power to enhance or even transform your career.Take CUNA Councils. These seven credit union professional organizations provide members with incredible opportunities in a range of areas, promising value in the form of knowledge, development and connections.To remind people of the opportunities CUNA Councils makes available to them—and motivate them to get active, get engaged and, above all, get involved in these organizations—we’ve launched the Get Involved! Membership Drive!Credit union professionals are encouraged to join a Council and explore all of the member-exclusive benefits available, including:Networking: Each Council has its own CUNA Council Community, an online communications platform that allows Council members to connect, discuss important issues and strategize together. From a networking perspective, the Community is an easy way to meet new professionals in your field and form positive, productive relationships with them that will pay dividends for years to come.last_img read more

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Unpleasant wake-up call for UW

first_imgWednesday was a busy day for the Badgers both on and off the practice field.When the football coaches found out that five starters would have to miss Wednesday night’s practice because of conflicting exam times, the team changed the starting time from 7:30 p.m. to 6:15 a.m., ensuring a busy day for some of the players.However, the change was not necessarily for the better, as UW head coach Bret Bielema called the practice “the worst of the spring,” ripping into the team after practice, preaching the need for consistency and accusing them of “going through the motions.””I knew that coming in early in the morning would be a little bit of a change of pace,” Bielema said. “But we were just sloppy and approached everything [that way] from stretching to how we handled ourselves.”It was easy to see why Bielema was so upset, as Wednesday morning’s practice wasn’t nearly as crisp as others had been earlier in the spring. For the second time, UW worked out in full pads, but this session was much less physical than the first all-pad practice last Saturday.Several players even showed up late, including running backs Dion Foster and Dywon Rowan, who didn’t show up until an hour into practice.However, Bielema was all smiles for one tardy Badger, offensive lineman Eric VandenHeuvel, who is most notable for replacing the injured Joe Thomas in the Capital One Bowl. VandenHuevel had not practiced much this spring due to a foot injury.”VandenHeuvel got out there today, and while he was in there, I thought he made a difference,” Bielema said. “We’re hoping to have him a solid two weeks here at the end. … He’s right on the verge. It’s just a situation where we don’t want to push him [too hard] because we obviously want him in the fall.”Some of the stars from Wednesday morning were junior receiver Paul Hubbard, who did drop a pass but enjoyed a very solid day otherwise. Sean Lewis and Travis Beckum, who have both changed their position to tight end, made several nice catches across the middle.Also, defensive back Shane Carter continued to impress, knocking away one pass and almost coming up with a gorgeous interception off quarterback John Stocco, but losing the ball as he hit the turf after diving and getting full extension.Junior defensive back Johnny White also came up with a pick during drills.On the injury front, receiver Jarvis Minton, who is out for the remainder of the spring with an undisclosed injury suffered last week, was seen on the sidelines playing catch, wearing a black protective boot that extended up to his right knee.last_img read more

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Sylvester Provencio charged with rape of 13-year-old at New Years Eve Party

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sylvester Provencio, 21, of Caldwell has been charged with rape, an off grid personal felony.A criminal complaint with the rape charge was filed by the Sumner County Attorney’s office Wednesday. Provencio also faces four counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor, Class B misdemeanors.Sylvester ProvencioAccording to the complaint, Province engaged in sexual intercourse with a victim, age 13, allegedly at a New Years Eve party, who was “overcome by force or fear.”He also allegedly bought alcoholic liquor to the victim at his parent’s residence in Caldwell.Provencio is also accused of providing liquor to his 15-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl, and a 19-year-old girl at the same party.Provencio is currently facing felony charges for an alleged assault in April 2015 of two older men, east of Caldwell. He, along with Nicholas Reedy, 33, of Caldwell are scheduled for a jury trial on March 8, at 9 a.m. in Sumner County District Court. They both pled not guilty to aggravated battery, a level 4 felony, amongst other felony and misdemeanor charges.He is currently in Sumner County jail with a bond set at $100,000 for this crime. He also had his $100,000 bond revoked from the April 2015 Aggravated assault charge. He made bail, but that is now void because the conditions of the surety bond was that he would not commit another crime while awaiting trial for that one. As of Feb. 4, Provencio now has a $200,000 bond.He has been in custody since Tuesday.Caldwell Police Chief Alan Albright said the investigation is still on going.last_img read more

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