Marijuana Inc. Given One More Ounce of Legitimacy by U.S. Treasury
Another big step forward has been taken in the relaxation of laws against marijuana — both medical and recreational. As the L.A. Times reports, the U.S. Treasury has made its stance known to the banking industry, alerting banks that they will be able to offer financial services to the robust and growing marijuana industry.
As more and more states are going green, the need for more legitimate infrastructure in the marijuana industry only becomes more pressing. There are already twenty states in the U.S. with medical marijuana laws in place, and several more with legislation pending. Florida and Pennsylvania may soon be joining those ranks.
On top of the medical marijuana legislation, some states have even been working on recreational marijuana laws. Colorado led the charge when it legalized marijuana for recreational use, and since the law went into effect, the industry has raked in cash. But, that was part of the problem. Because the marijuana laws are only in place on the state level, banks could have run into trouble if they dealt with dealing companies. So, these companies have been operating in cash, without banks in which to store their money.
In just the first five days after Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws took effect at the beginning of this year, $5 million in sales were recorded by the National Cannabis Industry Association, and tens of millions of dollars are expected over the year. That much cash is dangerous to have just sitting around at a business, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his concern about the dangers of businesses operating in cash.