Politician Says Ties to Marijuana Lobbyists Cost Her a Wells Fargo Account

A candidate for political office in Florida says Wells Fargo Bank has terminated her campaign accounts because of her support for and ties to the marijuana industry.

State agricultural commissioner hopeful Nikki Fried is calling the alleged move “unprecedented” and “emblematic of what is wrong with our government and politics today.”

“I am not touching the plant, I am not selling the plant, I am not producing the plant,” she said. “I’m simply advocating for the expansion of medical marijuana and that was the reason for (Wells Fargo) closing me down. Secondhand, it was the fact that I was taking money from lobbyists who represent the industry.”

Fried warns more candidates for office could be next. She has provided a copy of the letter she says Wells Fargo sent her, which says the company periodically reviews client relationships to manage risk.

Fried notes the controversy also underscores the larger challenges that state legal marijuana industries face in the U.S. financial system.

“At a time when 30 states including Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana and licensed businesses to practice and distribute marijuana to patients and caregivers, access to basic financial stability is virtually impossible for these legal businesses,” said Fried. “Outdated federal laws allow for this sort of discrimination.”

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