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article imageColorado's marijuana firms booming but banks won't touch cash

By Kev Hedges     Feb 25, 2014 in Business
The state of Colorado legalised marijuana at the beginning of the year, and new enterprises and start ups trying to keep pace with demand are doing a roaring trade.
However, there is a small problem with the cash being generated from the marijuana sales, that being these firms cannot deposit its profits into any bank account, nor can it make use of other financial services such as credit or debit cards, cheque books or make use of ATM terminals.
This means cash is the only option to pay for employees' wages, new stock, investment and any associated costs with running a business, reports BBC Business. The reason the banks won't touch the cash generated by firms selling legalized marijuana is because banking institutions in America are still regulated by federal law, making it a criminal act for a financial service provider to accept marijuana money.
However, President Barack Obama's administration recently issued new guidelines for banks doing business with marijuana firms, promising them that they will not be prosecuted for dealing with the companies. But, the banks and financial institutions, for now, remain circumspect when dealing with cannabis cash.
Both Washington and Colorado decided in 2012 to legalise the selling of marijuana, but until sellers can start easily placing their deposits into banks, there is likely to be an increase in money laundering and robbery.
More about cannabis legalization, marijuana legalization, colorado legalizes marijuana, Hemp
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