Colorado governor unveils marijuana banking guide

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis released a guide to help state-chartered financial companies better serve and expand banking services to marijuana companies as well as make MJ businesses safer by not forcing them to rely so heavily on cash transactions.

Some areas of focus in the Democratic governor’s “Roadmap to Cannabis Banking” include:

  • Encouraging new and emerging technologies, such as virtual currencies.
  • Providing regulatory guidance on such things as the Bank Secrecy Act and money laundering.
  • Reducing barriers to entry.
  • Demonstrating support by submitting letters with other state bank regulators in support of federal regulation.

Polis’ banking blueprint is intended to provide “guidance, clarity and support to state-chartered, financial-service providers that work with or are interested in working with the state-legal cannabis industry,” Polis said in a statement.

A key proponent of providing cannabis banking services at the federal level threw his support behind Polis’ guide.

“Too many Colorado businesses, employees and communities have been targets of assault, robbery and other crimes due to the conflict between state and federal law when it comes to cannabis banking,” U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado, said in a statement.

Perlmutter was one of the sponsors of the SAFE Banking Act, which is designed to allow financial institutions to serve cannabis businesses without fear of federal reprisal.