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Banks hesitant to work with medical marijuana businesses

Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 11:24:48-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- A Muskogee businessman says his bank is canceling his business and personal accounts because of his involvement in the medical marijuana industry.

Wesley Lewis heard from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority a few weeks ago, approving his license to grow and dispense medical marijuana through his business, 420 Main.

He says he heard from Armstrong Bank a few days ago that he needed to close his accounts with them. 

Armstrong Bank in Muskogee said the could not comment on the matter, and said they can't discuss someone's personal banking information.

The President of the Oklahoma Bankers Association says even though Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, under federal law marijuana is still illegal.

He says this will be a common problem for those in the marijuana industry because federal law trumps state law and banks won't want to get involved in that industry.

"This bank account and business is already established, has been established, so to make me change that I think is kind of unfair, yes," said Wesley Lewis, Co-owner of 420 Main in Muskogee.

Lewis said he's working with an attorney to see if they want to take any legal action with the bank, but said he already spoke with banks in Tulsa and Arkansas that are willing to work with his business.

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