Right 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.