To avoid any possibility of money laundering or wire fraud charges, the big banks began immediately purging accounts held by marijuana company owners and executives in the state.
In 2020, Bank of America terminated its banking relationship with David Morrow, CEO of the state’s largest marijuana company Lume. Morrow said he had millions of dollars in various BofA accounts, including money-managed accounts and loans.
“They treated me like a coke dealer,” Morrow said. “All of my accounts, my wealth management accounts, everything was booted. I got into this business to help out Bob (Barnes, majority owner of Lume). The last thing I was looking for was to have my entire personal banking relationship to get tossed out the window.”
Morrow said the bank he’d used for more than 20 years only noticed his paychecks were coming from the marijuana industry after he applied for a mortgage for an investment property and internal compliance auditors flagged his accounts.
He has since moved his accounts to another bank in the state.