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Pot shops to get banking system of their own in Colorado

Published time: May 08, 2014 09:38
Edited time: May 08, 2014 10:29
Reuters / Mark Blinch

Reuters / Mark Blinch

​A financial system for the budding marijuana industry has been given the green light by Colorado lawmakers to help pot shops transition from a cash-only business to more sophisticated accounting.

The "Marijuana Financial Services Cooperatives Act" was passed Wednesday by the Colorado legislature to provide financial services to industrial hemp businesses that are otherwise illegal under federal law.

Governor John Hickenlooper backs the bill and is expected to sign it into law.

In Colorado, banking co-ops can now provide financial services like checking accounts and auditing to marijuana businesses, services which were previously unavailable. Using the services will make the businesses safer as they won’t have to store huge amounts of cash on the premises, and will help the state collect taxes more easily.

"We are trying to improvise and come up with something in Colorado to give marijuana businesses some opportunity, so they do not have to store large amounts of cash," Republican Senator David Balmer said.

Lawmakers hope this will put an end to the criminality that often accompanies cash-only industries, as well as keeping down costs for marijuana shops. Pot shop owners had petitioned lawmakers at the State Capitol to establish their own financial system.

The approved bill will allow pot sellers to become bank cooperatives, but they still need permission from the US Federal Reserve to accept credit cards and checks. Last February the US Treasury Department said the marijuana industry could be served by banks, but few lenders were enthusiastic to take on the business of legal drugs, and many shops have been refused accounts.

The co-ops cannot call themselves a ‘bank’ or ‘credit union’ in any sort of trade name, advertisement, or services.

Colorado is the first state in the US to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, which began on January 1. Washington state will become the second in July.

Comments (15)


rogirl 12.05.2014 11:05

Well now pot is legalised it will lose its allure, and the truth is that it leaves one with no great buzz and an aching head. The so called pot banks will go pot belly up and pot usage will be left to losers . The adventurers who tend to have the cash, will seek out the really illegal stuff until they hammer the pont and get that legalised too, and then move on to the next big thing illegale thing..


Ephraiyim ben Yisrael 11.05.2014 22:40

Riwen 08.05.2014 15:00

They openly violate federal law and yet the feds do absolutely nothing. What if Texas started to limit the voting rights of blacks (i.e. violating federal law)? Well, you know the answer. Liberal hypocrisy at its best.


Lo ok, States have no obligation to follow Fed law unless their laws are in violation of the US Constitution. eg. Civil Rights.
Your argument is moot since voting rights WOULD fall within the purvue of the Feds. Legalization of drugs however has nothing to do with Constitutional rights. Neither does setting up co-ops for financial purposes.


Ephraiyim ben Yisrael 11.05.2014 22:35

Eastern European Empire EEE CCCC 08.05.2014 15:44

Oh hello, my friends, hello...

Am erica has gone from a war on drugs, to selling drugs...
If you get busted with weed, just tell the police to let you go, because the government grows and sells drugs for its population... Hey, when you need money, you do anything...

They do the same with terrorists... War on terror, but then they fund the terrorists...

I give up.... Hypocrisy is everywhere....


Th e American government has been dealing drugs since they took over the opium from the British in the 19th century. Nothing new.

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