JPMorgan Will No Longer Allow Prime Brokerage Clients to Purchase Certain Cannabis-Related Securities

Effective Nov. 8, the bank will not allow new purchases or short positions in the related businesses.

JPMorgan Will No Longer Allow Prime Brokerage Clients to Purchase Certain Cannabis-Related Securities

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has issued a letter to its prime brokerage clients informing them that they can no longer purchase certain U.S. cannabis-related securities, according to a Reuters report.

The restrictions pertain to businesses with U.S. operations that are not listed on the Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange or the Toronto Stock Exchange, and have a “direct nexus to marijuana-related activities,” according to the news outlet.

Effective Nov. 8, the bank will not allow new purchases or short positions in the related businesses, Reuters reported, although clients with existing positions can liquidate them.

“J.P. Morgan (JPMS) has introduced a framework that is designed to comply with U.S. money laundering laws and regulations by restricting certain activities in the securities of U.S. Marijuana Related Businesses," the bank wrote to clients, as reported by Reuters.

Other banks have taken similar action, according to the news outlet, after a high-profile collapse of private fund Archegos Capital earlier this year prompted financial institutions to evaluate how much risk they are willing to take on in their prime brokerage businesses.

“JPMorgan’s move to block its customers from buying securities in fully legal, regulated cannabis companies is beyond disappointing,” U.S. Cannabis Council CEO Steven Hawkins said in a public statement following the news. “Publicly-traded cannabis companies operate entirely within the law, and the industry is poised for tremendous growth. JPMorgan’s new policy is regressive and at odds with the majority of Americans, who want legal, regulated cannabis. What's more, it's self-defeating. The end of federal cannabis prohibition is within site, and the industry is already growing rapidly. I imagine more than a few JPMorgan customers will take issue with being blocked from one of the hottest industries on the market today. JPMorgan is on the wrong side of history on this and will come to regret its decision."