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Colorado OKs Bank Of Marijuana

Francesca Bessey |
June 6, 2014 | 2:56 p.m. PDT

Senior Opinion Editor

Supporting the transition of marijuana businesses away from cash-only operations, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Friday that attempts to create the world's first formal financial system for the burgeoning industry.

The legislation aims to create a network of uninsured cooperatives, where pot businesses would be able to pool their money and access basic banking services such as checking.

Though marijuana use and sales were fully legalized in Colorado beginning Jan. 1, most banks still refuse to do business with marijuana merchants out of fear of violating federal law. This lack of banking access keeps the pot industry largely cash-only, which is not only impractical, but dangerous, as many legal marijuana operations in Colorado have already been targeted for theft.

SEE ALSO: Marijuana Merchants Denied Bank Accounts

While the legislation is hailed as an important step to reducing the absurdity of doing business with weed, it awaits the approval of the Federal Reserve in order to actually be able to take effect. As stated by one of the sponsors of the banking bill, Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver):

"We can't solove this problem at the statehouse in Denver. It's going to require action and participation on the part of the federal officials and hopefully this gets us there."

Read the full story at KAIT.

Reach Senior Opinion Editor Francesca Bessey here; follow her here.



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