Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Banks wary of marijuana-dispensary accounts - The Denver Post

Banks wary of marijuana-dispensary accounts - The Denver Post

Wells Fargo & Co. — which medical-marijuana dispensary owners say is virtually the only bank in Colorado willing to take their business — has stopped opening new accounts for dispensaries.

Cristie Drumm, a spokeswoman for the banking giant, said Wells Fargo is examining state and federal laws to determine what the bank's risk is in working with dispensaries.

"We're not actively opening accounts with these businesses at this time," she said.

The move reflects a broader uneasiness among banks in the state about working with the medical-marijuana industry, and it marks one more cloud hovering over dispensaries. Though Drumm said she was unsure whether the bank would also re-evaluate its existing dispensary accounts, news of Wells Fargo's change in attitude has dispensary owners worried they might lose a key ally in their business plans.

"We wouldn't have a bank to put our money in," said Ryan Vincent, who owns The Health Center in Denver. "I don't know what we would do. We'd probably have to start rallying to put together a credit union."

Vincent said every dispensary he knows of uses Wells Fargo as its bank, largely because the industry has received a cold shoulder from other financial institutions. While Vincent said he understands the bank's need to do what's best for its business, he said shutting out dispensaries would deprive the bank of needed customers and deprive dispensaries of needed stability, possibly forcing them to operate in shadowy, cash-heavy ways.

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