Bankers, pot advocates say co-op laws won't work

DENVER - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1398 into law Friday, allowing cannabis credit co-ops in Colorado to potentially provide financial services to the marijuana industry.

But leaders of both the banking and marijuana industries agree the law won't fix the problem of marijuana businesses' inability to be banked.

"We don't think it will do anything other than allow the state to say, 'We've tried everything we can think of and it won't work, so Congress it's now up to you," saidDon Childears, president and CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association.

"They'll never get access to the Federal Reserve System, and if they can't do that, the co-ops will never be formed," Childears said.

Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, banks can't provide services to businesses that deal with a controlled substance. In fact, banks can be prosecuted for providing accounts to marijuana-related businesses, according to Childears.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal

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