Bank pulls out of Illinois medical marijuana industry

Bank pulls out of Illinois medical marijuana industry

Illinois medical marijuana companies may have to deal in cash after the main bank serving them decided to pull out of the industry.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bank of Springfield informed cannabis clients last month it would close their accounts May 21.

The decision to withdraw is tied to the reversal in January of a policy from President Barack Obama's administration that discouraged prosecuting operators under state marijuana laws.

Many banks are hesitant to get involved in the industry at all because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Many medical marijuana companies now face not having the bank accounts they use to pay their employees, vendors and the government.

The state Department of Public Health says the medical marijuana industry had $8.5 million in retail sales in February.

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