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Colorado Lawmakers Shoot Down Cannabis Banking Legislation…For Now


colorado legal marijuana salesRight now as you are reading this article, chances are someone in Colorado is making a legal marijuana purchase. The transaction involves cash, the amount of which likely ranges between $20 to multiple hundreds of dollars. When you compile all of these cash transactions throughout the day, the pile of money that results is sizable. For some recreational or medical marijuana stores in Colorado, the pile is so large that they are having trouble finding a place to keep it, Since federal banking laws are hazy at best when it comes to marijuana businesses. In related news, safe and vault sales are on the rise in Colorado.

Large piles of cash lying around can pose some public safety issues, as they are magnets for robbers. This is something that non-marijuana businesses haven’t had to deal with since the invention of armored transport (something else that marijuana businesses can’t use). Colorado lawmakers were trying to change that problem, but efforts were squashed this week. From NPR:

“Colorado had been crafting a plan to address the issue, but the proposed law was scotched late Thursday. It would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses, which can’t legally access the regular banking system, to create a financial co-op, something akin to an uninsured credit union.

Republican state Rep. Kevin Priola, who sponsored an amendment to table the measure, says lawmakers need to “take some time to have this properly vetted.” But representatives from both parties had expressed reservations about the legislation.”

As previously noted in previous articles, the federal government has issued guidelines that allow for marijuana banking on a limited basis. While it might look good to the federal government on paper, the guidelines aren’t working out in reality (although they are a good first step). Many banks still won’t deal with cannabis businesses because of the uncertainty, and marijuana businesses continue to suffer.

Hopefully, we will soon see comprehensive legislation that fixes this problem once and for all, especially considering the fact that cannabis businesses are not going anywhere. In fact, cannabis businesses will only continue to flourish across the globe, thus we might as well let them flourish safely and like any other licensed and regulated business.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.

1 Comment

  1. Roger Turner on

    it seems to me we Americans are in the mist of a legal quagmire concerning drugs essentially that is whot it is about there are many if not truly in formed see it as being about marijuana well I am sorry to inform you but to our government it is not separate as you and I see it is drugs that were at some point in time declared dangerous to our society in general and should our gone with the wind government decide to back up so to speak many have fallen into a case of legal entrapment that is the thing that banks don’t want to deal with in the future so they are waiting for the government to enact specific laws that allow them to operate and deal with them and us without legal recourse till then get fucked that is where we stand with our government till they decide to make laws to change it we the people no longer get to decide

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