California’s state treasurer isn’t waiting on the federal government to solve marijuana businesses’ banking problem.


Treasurer John Chiang and members of a working group he formed are calling on California officials to create a state-government-run bank to serve marijuana companies, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The recommendation by Chiang’s group bolsters a growing movement that wants cities and states to create public banks for marijuana businesses.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Over the course of the year, Chiang’s group heard from cannabis business owners about their banking challenges and difficulties paying taxes.
  • In addition to a California-run bank, the group recommended that state and local bodies that regulate marijuana businesses make information about the companies available to banks. Such a move would help financial institutions feel more at ease handling cannabis funds, the group concluded.
  • The group called for the formation of a multistate group to lobby Congress to relax federal regulations on marijuana.
  • It also recommended that California hire armored car services to pick up tax payments from cannabis companies so they don’t have to drop off bags of cash at the tax office.