Morrisey issues legal opinion on medical marijuana regulations

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a legal opinion Friday saying that any regulations the state makes for banks that work for businesses that sell medical marijuana should mirror federal regulations.

According to the A.G.’s Office, the opinion was issued after State Treasurer John Perdue and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw asked if West Virginia could safeguard the banks who would be working with the companies.

“It does not appear that any state has found a complete solution,” Morrisey wrote. “The most effective option for States seeking to facilitate access to banking services for cannabis-related entities may be to design implementing regulations in a way that makes it easier for banks to comply with current federal reporting obligations.”

The office says some banks are hesitant to work with businesses providing medical marijuana, since marijuana is still illegal federally.

"Congress has blocked the U.S. Department of Justice from using its funds to interfere with a state’s authorized marijuana-related activities," officials said. "However, Friday’s opinion warns there is no guarantee Congress will maintain the restriction. It further concludes an end to the funding restriction could expose entities to retroactive prosecution within the statute of limitations."

You can read Morrisey's full opinion at http://bit.ly/2Fm0rBN.