Colorado Lawmakers Approve First Marijuana Banking System

The bill would offer a marijuana banking system with services like loans and checking accounts to be offered to canna-businesses.

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Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, listens to debate  on a bill he sponsored which would enable marijuana businesses such as dispensaries  to form financial co-operatives, at the Colorado Legislature, In Denver, Wednesday May 7, 2014. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Colorado lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve a bill which would allow marijuana businesses access to checking accounts, loans, and other basic banking needs.  The plan is to create uninsured financial cooperatives through a network.

A major hurdle for the cannabis industry has been that it is cash only, since most businesses are still worried about Federal prosecution, which maintains that marijuana and its profits are you illegal.  This has forced canna-businesses into dealing with strictly cash, which also opens them up to be victims of criminals.

On a positive note, the U.S. Treasury Department has stated that it is legal for banks to now offer services under certain conditions to the marijuana industry.  However, even though the new guidelines is a temporary win for the cannabis industry, things are still very apprehensive about dealing marijuana businesses.  Banks still feel they could be open to prosecution and feel that the guidelines do not go far enough in protecting the banks.

This new bill, will enable canna-businesses to their money into a co-op.


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