Contact: RJ Tamburri | Communications Director
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ALBANY, N.Y. – Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would retract the department’s policy of not prosecuting properly run marijuana-based businesses in states that had passed laws allowing them to operate.

The decision affects an estimated 400 credit unions and banks that are currently serving the primarily cash-based industry.

At the federal level, marijuana remains in the category of the most tightly controlled drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. New York state permits prescription-based marijuana use for certain medical conditions.

New York Credit Union Association President/CEO William J. Mellin issued the following statement on the matter:

“Credit unions and other financial institutions are faced with difficult choices when it comes to serving the marijuana industry. The decision by the Justice Department to rescind their policy on serving this industry makes it clear that providing banking services to marijuana-related businesses is a violation of federal law and the Bank Secrecy Act.

At the same time, states are moving in the opposite direction and permitting more and more marijuana businesses to operate.

The New York Credit Union Association stands by our position that a legislative solution is needed at the federal level so that credit unions and other institutions can serve the needs of the marijuana industry without fear of prosecution.”

About the New York Credit Union Association
For more than 100 years, the New York Credit Union Association has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $83 billion in assets and serve 5.9 million members. NYCUA strives to advances the credit union movement by advocating, educating, uniting and supporting the interests of all credit unions statewide. To learn more about NYCUA, visit To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit