High Time To Allow Marijuana Businesses To Bank

MARIJUANA-300Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and a group of senators from Oregon and Washington have written a letter asking federal financial regulators to come up with clear guidelines to allow financial institutions to service legal marijuana businesses. These guidelines would make it easier for those businesses to access banking services rather than operating on an all-cash basis. Currently, many legal marijuana businesses in states across the country that have legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana are forced to run their businesses using cash because banks fear repercussions from the federal government. Without the ability to open a bank account or accept non-cash forms of payment, these businesses are forced to pay taxes in cash and keep large amounts of cash on their premises. This is a logistical issue for state and local governments when it comes to collecting taxes, and also creates a public safety risk for the businesses and the surrounding communities by making legal marijuana businesses a prime target for robbers and other criminals. This is the latest step in Bennets efforts to get banking regulators and the Department of Justice to establish guidelines that would allow licensed marijuana dispensaries and retail stores in Colorado to access the banking system.

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