America

Colorado Approves Financial System For Marijuana Industry

Colorado lawmakers have voted to create the a financial system for the state's burgeoning legal marijuana industry.

After Colorado legalized pot in 2013, it still had no financial mechanism for legal marijuana businesses. Washington has also approved the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Just last week, the legislature had set aside the plan.

The Associated Press says:

"The vote on Wednesday would create a network of uninsured cooperatives meant to give pot businesses a way to access basic banking services.

"The plan seeks to move Colorado's marijuana industry away from its cash-only roots. The U.S. Treasury Department's has tried to assure banks they can serve the pot businesses under certain conditions without running afoul of federal law, which considers pot illegal. But most banks still refuse to work with pot businesses, saying the rules aren't clear."

As NPR's Eyder Peralta reported in March, Colorado made $3.5 million in taxes and fees from legal pot in January, the first month of legal sales.

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