California Studying Public Pot Bank
California State Treasurer John Chang proposed four recommendations for the marijuana industry this week, one of which was the creation of a government-owned bank. That’s increasingly important since California voters passed Proposition 64 last year, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Cannabis is projected to record nearly $7 billion in annual sales in California when adult recreational use takes effect, and nearly three times that figure within five years, according to conservative estimates.
Legal cannabis businesses are largely locked out of the banking system since cannabis is still illegal under federal law, and an overwhelming majority of financial institutions do not serve the cannabis industry.
The bank is envisioned to help cash-heavy cannabis businesses pay their taxes and open accounts. An option also being explored are armored car services to pick up tax payments.
Chang also calls for a more cohesive voice to lobby legislators to ease federal restrictions on cannabis.
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