ARVADA, Colo. —

Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) released a plan Monday morning to provide clarity and guidance for state-chartered banks and financial institutions that currently serve or want to serve to legal cannabis-related businesses.

The goal of the “Roadmap to Cannabis Banking & Financial Services” is to increase the number of financial service providers in Colorado who serve the state’s legal marijuana and industrial hemp industries.

“As the first state to establish a legal marijuana industry and one of the first to implement an industrial hemp program, Colorado has become a national economic leader in the cannabis industry,” Polis said.

Under the plan, there are several; primary areas of focus. They include the following:

  • Providing clear regulatory guidance
  • Encouraging new and emerging technologies in the banking and financial services space
  • Reducing barriers while upholding consumer protection guardrails
  • Demonstrating state support for financial businesses wishing to explore cannabis banking

“The lack of federal clarity creates a level of uncertainty and apprehension for our Colorado state-chartered banks and credit unions to provide basic financial services to legal cannabis-related businesses,” said DORA Executive Director Patty Salazar. “This roadmap is designed to lay out a path whereby our state-chartered financial institutions can explore whether or not they are in a position to provide services to this industry.”

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Polis was also joined by Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood), who is the lead sponsor of landmark legislation to reform federal cannabis laws and reduce the public safety risk in communities across the country.

RELATED: Colorado wants to use carbon dioxide from craft beer to help grow marijuana

H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Act of 2019 (SAFE Banking Act), passed the U.S. House with overwhelming bipartisan support. It currently awaits action in the U.S. Senate.

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