by Countable | 2.3.18
California officials are considering creating a taxpayer-backed bank to handle the estimated billions of dollars in revenue generated by the Golden State’s legal marijuana industry.
As the Sacramento Bee explained, because pot remains illegal at the federal level, "banks generally will not provide accounts to cannabis companies, forcing them to pay taxes and other expenses in cash."
State Treasurer John Chiang (D) said in a statement that:
"Cannabis firms are forced to deal almost entirely in cash, creating a rich environment for violent crimes, money laundering, and other illegal activity."
Chiang said the move is necessary after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last month that the DOJ was ending the policy that allowed states to relax restrictions on recreational pot without the threat of federal interference.
"California and other states will need to lead when it comes to bringing the cannabis industry out of the shadows so that it can be properly regulated to prevent sales to minors, to protect the public’s health and safety, and ensure cannabis businesses behave as legitimate tax-paying members of our economy," Chiang said.
Critics of the move claim a taxpayer-backed bank would create more problems than it solves.
"For a state that is already plagued with so many economic problems, despite its recent budget surplus, the idea of the state running its own bank should worry every person in California," said Yaël Ossowski, the Deputy Director for the anti-regulatory group Consumer Choice Center.
"A state-controlled bank will only invite scandal and mismanagement, and significantly limit growth for the industry in the long term."
Do you support a state-run pot bank? Will it help cut down on "money laundering and other illegal activity"? Or will it “only invite scandal and mismanagement”? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Planet Flem / iStock)
Written by Countable
Awesome. Way to go CA... You'll be paving the way for the other states where it's legal to possess and use marijuana. Making it safer for marijuana businesses from getting ripped off. Show the Liar in Chief and his lackey AG Sessions that the states where's it's legal are going to protect the rights of it's citizens.
As a Californian and activist I attended one of Treasure Chiang’s working groups on Cannabis and the possibility of public banking to accommodate this new billion dollar industry. Did I mention that the 45 admin is destroying jobs and economic growth by disallowing Cannabis and clean energy campaigns. But I digress. I am so happy Chiang (pronounced Chang) is moving forward with next step research into this possibility engage no the Attorney General working on the legal aspects of this endeavor. With 26 states currently allowing medicinal or recreational cannabis, these lawful entrepreneurs need a safe place to put their money, to pay their vendors and their TAXES. The City of Los Angeles is also considering opening a public (municipal) bank to better serve their communities. Their contract with Wells Fargo Bank is up in June. Divest LA worked tirelessly to proposed changes to their RFP, which leaves out most too-big-too-fail banks. That’s why the conversation of a public bank is now so prevalent.
If the banking industry can launder money for the Republicans, drug dealers, and Putin, you would think they could accept marijuana proceeds. Such hypocrisy. Yes, let California start their own bank, since Wall Street can’t see a gift horse in the mouth.
Yes, However, it should be a Credit Union, and pay all of its employees a livable minimum compensation package that includes all benefits and 4 weeks vacation and control or cap management and executive salaries and it should also be a non-profit, where any and all windfalls go to the public to fight against oppression and corruption and corporate abuse and to generally benefit the Citizens.
State banks (although not necessarily state-run banks) are far better for the community than the big international banks like Chase and Wells Fargo. When it comes to money management, local money, local spending, local investment. That’s how you keep small towns alive.
The fact of the matter is that legalized marijuana is here to stay. If politicians want to keep the businesses above board they will make banking for them as easy as for any other business.
California lawmakers would serve there country by leveraging their state economy, towards full federal legislation.
Medical Marijuana has been prescribed in California since 1996 when it was voted on. I have read about families traveling here in order to treat their children with Cancer and other debilitating diseases where CBD and/or Cannabis actually helps them heal etc. banking is an important piece of this business. Otherwise thugs and criminals target the businesses and owners to steal from them. This is necessary.
I love California and fuck the Trump fascist regime. The comment by Gary about Californians being oppressed is so absurd. Right wing states is were the oppression exist hence the opioid epidemic. Oppressed by rigid moronic religious institutions and corrupt state governments
Good idea. I know all you States rights enthusiasts will support this ...right?!
This is absolutely necessary. Legalizing recreational marijuana means nothing until we make it legitimate. Providing marijuana businesses with basic banking services is a good way to bring the industry into light and safety. “Scandal and mismanagement” is what happens when millions of dollars are being handled in cash.
Smart way to rip off the public, way to go California. Also is smart to keep your community high so they don’t know they are being oppressed, way to go California.
Please legalize weed, to restore trust in the government.
Please make this happen.
Jeff Sessions needs to realize his refusal to recognize legalization of marijuana is in conflict with what states are trying to do and get the federal government onboard.
Great idea but I need more info Do a state insurance similar to the fdic? Make all state funds run through same bank? I hope it works The less we depend on the feds for the next three years the safer we will be
Create the bank. It’s already known marijuana is no more if not less dangerous than alcohol. Allow business owners who are willing to jump through all the legal hoops to run their shops the ability to use a bank.
Way to go CA, the banking piece has proven difficult in CO. Because of laws that still classify pot as an illicit substance on the federal level, the banking industry has a fear of criminal liability. Moreover, congress continues to block any legislation that would provide a safe harbor for banks and allow for the proper taxation of this otherwise grey market.Congress doesn't care about the public safety threat, ie large amounts of cash and robberies, that is being created because of congress' actions.
Yes! If weed isn’t legalized period, this is necessary. Ridiculous that weed is still a schedule 1 drug. When will politicians get a clue and put an end to this madness. For Gods sake there is a ton of tax money to be made....