State and federal authorities allow Colorado marijuana businesses to keep firearms in-house because of the danger posed by operating a cash-only business, says Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper. He said Colorado is alone in its tolerance of firearms at marijuana facilities — a practice that runs contrary to recently issued federal guidelines, the Denver Post reports.
A federal rule barring banks from taking the money of criminal enterprises, which marijuana stores are considered under federal law, has scared banks away from doing business with the new industry in Colorado and Washington. Without that relationship, marijuana businesses are forced to accept cash only. Hickenlooper and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee have urged federal officials to exempt marijuana facilities from the banking rule. Last month, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole said the justice and treasury departments were brainstorming how to work around pot shops’ banking problem, but no action has resulted.