Banking On The Marijuana Industry?

OREGON: It is legal to sell marijuana in 23 states. But pot businesses can’t deposit their money in banks because of federal banking laws. While the dilemma has been a back-burner issue in Congress for several years, a solution may be in the works.

A provision in the upcoming financial services spending bill would prevent the federal government from spending money on penalizing financial institutions that accept legal marijuana businesses as clients. That would greatly reduce the ability of federal agencies’ to prosecute the banks.

Increased access to banking would, in turn, decrease the currently cash-only businesses’ risk of robbery by allowing customers to pay with debit and credit cards, reduce the likelihood that the business could be used as a money-laundering front and solve the nightmare of trying to pay taxes with cash

“Forcing businessmen and businesswomen who are operating legally under Oregon state law to shuttle around gym bags full of cash is an invitation to crime and malfeasance,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. “It’s time to let banks serve these legal businesses without fearing devastating reprisals from the federal government.”

The PayPal Of Recreational Pot: Startup Aims To Eliminate Cash From Washington State Marijuana business

WASHINGTON: Recreational marijuana may be legal in Washington state, but in many ways, it’s still a risky business.

The biggest risk is that nearly all transactions happen with cash. And not just customers buying marijuana, but much bigger transactions when retailers buy from the producers that actually grow the pot.

Everyone uses cash because banks, which are federally regulated, aren’t keen on the idea of getting into business in an industry that is still federally illegal.

Now, there’s a company that’s bringing electronic payments to the world of recreational marijuana, and it could be a game-changer.