Chase Closes Accounts Of Pot Entrepreneur Martin Tobias

WASHINGTON: After more than 20 years of banking with JPMorgan Chase, former Microsoft executive and marijuana entrepreneur Martin Tobias saw his business and personal accounts terminated this week.

Chase spokeswoman Patricia Wexler confirmed that both of Tobias’s accounts have been shut down, but as policy she would not give more details about his case.

“We are closely following federal guidance on this matter,” she said, explaining that the bank doesn’t work with marijuana businesses. “If we find out that someone is in the business after they have already been banking with us, then we take steps to close that account.”

The Millionaire Who Wants To Control Washington’s Weed

WASHINGTON:  The state of Washington’s legal marijuana market is at a major crossroads, with its fate to be determined by pending legislation that seeks to address a conflict in the system.

In the big picture, the choices to be made along the path ahead boil down to a struggle between business and patient interests. The pending legislation at the heart of the issue seeks to bring Washington’s largely unregulated medical-marijuana market under the rubric of state oversight.

In November 2012, as part of a statewide referendum known as Initiative 502, voters in Washington, by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, approved the creation of a legal recreational-marijuana market served by growers, processors, and retail shops. However, the referendum was silent on the treatment of medical marijuana.

“We are for regulation of medical-marijuana businesses and for standards,” said Kari Boiter, a Washington State-based spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a medical-marijuana patient advocacy group. “But we represent the vulnerable patients’ voice in the process, and we want to make sure their rights are protected.”