Colorado’s medical-marijuana industry, already subject to the most comprehensive cannabis-business regulations in the U.S., might soon have another national first to its credit: a bank, of sorts, reports the Denver Post. Two state legislators will propose to allow a “financial cooperative” to provide banking services to medical-marijuana businesses. The cooperative would work like a credit union, with membership limited to industry members. It would be free of the kinds of federal insurance requirements that exist with banks and credit unions and that have made those institutions reluctant to work with medical-marijuana businesses.
State Sen. Pat Steadman said the cooperative would plug a hole in state medical-marijuana regulations. “The inability to have a financial institution to do their banking with really hinders regulatory enforcement,” Steadman said. “So it’s in everybody’s interest that these people don’t have piles of cash lying around [ ] and, instead, there’s a paper trail.” The bill is expected to be the major focus of medical-marijuana-related lobbying at the state Capitol during this year’s legislative session, which starts today.