Medical marijuana dispensaries face problems with banks

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Polling shows that voter approval of medical marijuana is likely this November. State lawmakers, who are in Chicago for a national legislative conference, are being told to be ready for a banking dilemma. It is a problem already being faced by the small number of dispensaries in the state.

When Trulieve opened the first low THC dispensary, its first sale was a cash transaction. That’s because no bank wanted to touch the pot-tainted money, for fear of federal regulators.

At the conference in Chicago, the Colorado Bankers Association told lawmakers from across the country that no matter what states do, pot is still an illegal Schedule 1 drug in the eyes of the federal government.

“It’s basically a question of following federal law, and taking on very large liabilities if you don’t,” Don Childers, with Colorado Bankers Association, said.

Marijuana is already a $7 billion a year business, but lawmakers in Chicago were told that is going triple by the year 2020.

Cannabis has its own trade association, which is asking local lawmakers to put pressure on Washington.

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