Washington State Credit Union Agrees to do Business with Recreational Cannabis Outlets

Salal Credit Union has announced that they’ll do business with recreational cannabis outlets in Washington State, allowing them to bank, take out loans and take part in other financial services. Salal is the secondPrint credit union, following Numerica Credit Union, to announce that they’ll work with those intending to distribute, process or cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes.

The announcement was made by representative Bob Schweigert at the Marijuana Business Association’s Canna Business & The Law seminar, which took place yesterday in Seattle, during a panel called Managing Your Marijuana Business Money.

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U.S. Attorney General: Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Access to Banks

By Jack Healy and Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soonericholder offer rules to help them gain it. The rules are not expected to give banks a green light to accept deposits and provide other services, but would tell prosecutors not to prioritize cases involving legal marijuana businesses that use banks.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Mr. Holder said at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited, is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.”

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Colorado Issues Recreational Cannabis Licenses to 348 Businesses

By John Ingold, The Denver Post

Colorado on Monday became the first U.S. state to issue special licenses for recreational marijuana businesses.

state-flag-coloradoAfter weeks of scrutiny of applications, officials at the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division slipped 348 approved licenses into the mail and sent them out to hundreds of stores, products-makers and cultivation facilities. Those businesses could begin producing and selling marijuana to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1, assuming the businesses also have the approval of their local governments.

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Feds to Soon Release Memo Giving OK to Cannabis Banking

Cannabis businesses wanting the ability to bank legitimately are likely to get at least a “yellow light” allowing them to do so as soon as the new year, says Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel for Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. cannabismoney

“What we’re being told,” says Finlaw, “is probably in the first quarter of 2014 there will be some guidance issued that’s comparable to the Cole memo from the Department of Justice that will give, maybe not a green light, but a yellow light to banks to allow them to do business [with cannabis businesses] — to take deposits, to set up checking accounts, to set up small business loans, to allow these businesses to accept purchases through debit cards or credit cards, to allow what normal businesses are allowed to do.”

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Americans for Tax Reform Endorses Change in Federal Law to Allow Cannabis Businesses to Deduct Taxes

Next week Americans for Tax Reform – founded and headed by ultraconservative Grover Norquist – will hold a joint press conference withATR1 the National Cannabis Association to call for a change in federal tax laws to allow cannabis businesses to take standard tax reductions, in states where they’re legal.

In speaking for the Obama Administration, Deputy Attorney General James Cole stated yesterday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the feds have no official possession on a possible change in the federal tax code; the administration did, however, recently announce that they’re working with banking regulators in order to allow cannabis businesses to legally bank.

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