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News Link • Business/ Commerce

Marijuana Banking Scheme Passes First Test In Colorado

•, Keith Coffman
Traditional banks have been wary to knowingly serve legal and medicinal marijuana businesses because the drug remains illegal under federal law, said the bill's sponsor, Representative Jonathan Singer.

The cash-only nature of marijuana businesses is making them targets for crime, limiting access to capital, and impeding the state's ability to track revenues, Singer said.

"This sets up a new type of financial structure to the gap we're seeing between banking and the marijuana industry," said Singer, a Democrat.

The proposal calls for new "cannabis credit co-ops" - similar to credit unions without deposit insurance - to be governed by the state's financial services commissioner. But they would need Fed approval for access to banking services, such as credit card processing and checking accounts.

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