DENVER (AP) - Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is welcoming a Justice Department decision to help clear the way for financial institutions to do business with the legitimate marijuana industry without fear of prosecution.
Currently, processing money from marijuana sales puts federally insured banks at risk of drug racketeering charges. The issue took on greater urgency after Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
Hancock said Tuesday the Justice Department's plan is an "important step," adding that the current inability for cash-only marijuana businesses to access banking institutions "exposes them and our neighborhoods to unnecessary safety risks, including serious criminal activity."
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