The plan seeks to move the marijuana industry away from its cash-only roots. Banks routinely reject pot businesses for even basic services such as checking accounts because they fear running afoul of federal law, which considers marijuana and its proceeds illegal.
The result: Pot shop owners deal in large amounts of cash, which makes them targets for criminals. Or they try to find ways around the problem, like drenching their proceeds in air freshener to remove the stink of marijuana and try to fool traditional banks into accepting their money.
"This is our main problem: Financial services for marijuana businesses," said Sen.
But most banks have shrugged at the Treasury guidelines, calling them too onerous to accept marijuana-related clients. The result is a marijuana industry that still relies largely on cash, a safety risk for operators and a concern for
"This is not something that we can wait for any further," said another banking sponsor, Rep.
The bill approved Wednesday would allow marijuana businesses to pool money in co-operative s, but the co-ops would on take effect if the U.S. Federal Reserve agrees to allow them to do things like accept credit cards or checks.
Lawmakers from both parties supported the banking co-ops as a way to properly audit marijuana shops and to make sure they're paying all their taxes. Dispensary owners came to the Capitol this session to tell of their difficulties paying taxes and utilities in cash and the dangers of dealing in cash.
"It is very easy to see somebody get killed over this issue,"
The plan had bipartisan support, though some Republicans said that the effort won't pass federal muster.
A few banks are accepting marijuana clients in light of the federal regulations.
Countries that don't ban marijuana don't have banking systems unique to the drug.
House Bill 1398: http://bit.ly/1njtnLc
Most Popular Stories
- Florida Warns Beach-goers About Flesh-eating Bacteria
- Sutherland Responds to 'Unprofessional' Jibe
- LivePro Is a Mobile Hot Spot, Projector in One
- Islamic State Fights for Control of Syrian Oil Wealth
- Adrienne Bailon Disses Ex-Lover Rob Kardashian
- How to Fit Green Energy Into Your Portfolio
- U.S. Economy Grows at Fastest Pace in 10 Years
- Business Leaders Set for CHCC Convention
- Sanctions Will Hit Russia Hard if Not Lifted Quickly
- Is California Going to Land Tesla's Battery Plant?