Colorado OKs World’s 1st Pot Banking System

COLORADO: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation to try to establish the world’s first financial system for the largely cash-only marijuana industry.

The bill signed Friday morning seeks to form a network of uninsured cooperatives designed to give pot businesses a way to access basic banking services.

Banks that fear violating federal law do not allow marijuana businesses access to basic financial services. That has led to fears that the burgeoning marijuana industry can be a target for robberies.

Colorado became the first state to allow recreational pot sales on Jan. 1.

The legislation would allow pot businesses to pool money in cooperatives. However, that will only happen with the blessing of the U.S. Federal Reserve. That has prompted some to argue the legislation could be only symbolic.

Colorado Lawmakers Shy Away From Pot Bank

COLORADO:  A Colorado plan to set up the world’s first financial system for marijuana survived less than 24 hours before state lawmakers changed course Thursday night and shelved the idea.

The proposal would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses to create a financial co-op, sort of an uninsured credit union.

The measure was introduced late Wednesday and cleared a House committee on Thursday. But a few hours later, another House committee gutted the plan by amending the bill to say that Colorado will continue studying the problem of marijuana businesses having a hard time accessing banking services.

Lawmakers from both parties expressed reservations about whether the financial-services plan would work.

“Let’s take some time to have this properly vetted,” said Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, who sponsored the amendment to study the matter.

 

Marijuana Businesses May Have Trouble Finding A Bank

NEVADA:  It’s a budding business in Nevada that will bring in big time money. Even though medical marijuana is legal under Nevada law, most banks steer clear of these all-cash operations.

So where will their owners store their money, when they open shop in Clark County?

The same federal government that regulates banking transactions also says selling marijuana is a crime, so people who open medical marijuana businesses in Clark County, for the most part can’t get the banks to do any business with them.

 

New Pot Banking Guidelines Moot In California?

CALIFORNIA: Thanks to some recent direction from the Obama administration, banks are now allowed to do business with folks who make their living in the legal marijuana trade. But, maybe not in California.

In response to a growing uneasiness with the cannabis cash conundrum, spurred at least in part by the introduction of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued new guidelines to financial institutions that it appears will allow them to knowingly accept deposits of pot proceeds. [Read more…]

US Government Issues Rules For Banks On Dealing With Legal Marijuana Vendors

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Obama administration issued new rules Friday intended to ease the concerns of banks wanting to deal with businesses that legally sell marijuana, something the nation’s banks have so far declined to do.

The rules, issued by the Treasury and Justice Departments, are intended to “move from the shadows the historically covert financial operations of marijuana businesses,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. [Read more…]

Banking Marijuana Requires “Act Of Congress”

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Despite bankers’ varied attitudes about legalizing marijuana, now that it is legal in Colorado, banks are supportive of government efforts to permit financial services for marijuana businesses. However, numerous obstacles prevent banks from serving marijuana businesses and their customers as they conduct legal activities.

Colorado can’t regulate or tax an industry for which it cannot track money. Public safety risks associated with cash-heavy businesses cause concern. And several federal laws preclude banks from serving these businesses, regardless of state law. Only Congress can resolve this. [Read more…]

Banking Marijuana Requires “Act Of Congress”

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Despite bankers’ varied attitudes about legalizing marijuana, now that it is legal in Colorado, banks are supportive of government efforts to permit financial services for marijuana businesses. However, numerous obstacles prevent banks from serving marijuana businesses and their customers as they conduct legal activities.

Colorado can’t regulate or tax an industry for which it cannot track money. Public safety risks associated with cash-heavy businesses cause concern. And several federal laws preclude banks from serving these businesses, regardless of state law. Only Congress can resolve this. [Read more…]

Attorney General Holder: Feds To Let Banks Handle Pot Money

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Obama administration will soon announce regulations that allow banks to do business with legal marijuana sellers, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Holder said during an appearance at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash—substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.” [Read more…]

Attorney General Holder: Feds To Let Banks Handle Pot Money

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Obama administration will soon announce regulations that allow banks to do business with legal marijuana sellers, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Holder said during an appearance at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash—substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.” [Read more…]