Is Wells Fargo anti-medical marijuana? The bank has sparked the debate today by shutting down a Florida political candidate’s bank account due to her affiliation with medical cannabis.
Let’s look at what happened.
Is Wells Fargo Anti-Medical Marijuana?
Nikki Fried is a political candidate that is running for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. She herself was a former medical marijuana lobbyist who describes herself as a “fierce advocate for patient access to medical marijuana.” A Democrat who has made marijuana a top priority in her campaign, she has as such, garnered support from members of the medical marijuana industry.
As is the way with political campaigning, much of this support has arrived in the form of donations.
It would seem that Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) does not like her donor base as it made the decision to shut down her campaign account in a move that not only aligns the company completely right-wing but also unabashedly shows a display of anti-medical marijuana sentiment.
According to Wells Fargo, the reason for closing her account was that “[Wells Fargo] uncovered some information regarding the customers [sic] political platform and that they are advocating for expanding patient access to medical marijuana.”
Apparently, this affiliation with medical marijuana poses “banking risks” and the bank terminated its business with Fried.
Not The First Time
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the cannabis industry has run into these types of issues with formal institutions, despite marijuana being legalized in several US states (30 to be exact).
This decision highlights a lack of understanding around banking and cannabis, and as Jeffrey Zucker of Green Lion Partners said in a press release put out by the Fried campaign “this issue should never come into play for political candidates fighting for the needs of constituents.”
What do you think? Can you understand why Wells Fargo would make this decision?
Featured Image: Deposit Photos/alexeynovikov