Lawmakers To Feds: Let MJ Businesses Bank

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  Lawmakers To Feds: Let MJ Businesses Bank

Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2014 at 16:14:49 PT
By Niraj Chokshi 
Source: Washington Post 

Colorado -- Advocates for the legalization of marijuana celebrated a hard-won fight Jan. 1, when sales for recreational use began in Colorado, but one question remained: What will those who make and sell pot do with all their money? Now, some of Colorado’s congressional delegation want the Treasury and Justice departments to accelerate their review of the issue.In a Friday letter to top officials at both departments, both the state’s senators and four of its seven representatives asked the federal government to give advice to Colorado’s marijuana businesses on how to access the banking system.
“In crafting such guidance, your respective agencies should work with the various banking regulators to ensure that these retail stores and dispensaries have some degree of access to the banking system,” they write. “At the same time, this guidance should include sufficient safeguards to ensure that access to the banking system will not facilitate any form of money laundering or other illegal activities.”The issue is rooted in a 1970 law, the Bank Secrecy Act, which regulates how banks must report and respond to transactions believed to be linked to illegal activity. Marijuana sales are sanctioned in Colorado by the state government, but they remain illegal federally, leaving banks and businesses in a legal limbo.In their letter, the members of Congress say the issue raises “significant public safety concerns.” Since businesses are afraid to bank and banks are afraid to engage clients involved in the industry, some pot producers and sellers are forced to handle transactions in cash, making them targets for thieves.In interviews in Denver last week, the issue was the most-cited concern among marijuana store owners, employees and industry representatives.“Banking is the biggest outstanding issue we have right now. It has to be fixed,” Michael Elliott, executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, said outside Denver’s 3D Cannabis Center shortly after the first legal sales of pot began on New Year’s morning.But about two thirds of his organization’s members still bank, Elliott said. They just do it discreetly. “I would describe it as a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” he said.Businesses foresee a big boon from legal sales. Medicine Man, another Denver retailer, is doubling its 20,000-square-foot warehouse, while the owner of the 3D Cannabis Center said she expects her monthly revenue of $30,000 from selling marijuana for medical use to grow more than eightfold to $250,000.At Medicine Man, private security guards from the Blue Line Protection Group managed crowds as they waited in line to purchase marijuana and related products. The new security business boasts 30 employees and 12 contracts with marijuana-related businesses seeking extra security, a spokesman said.In their letter, the Colorado lawmakers also argued that allowing businesses access to banking will make regulating and taxing them easier. The letter was signed by Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, as well as Reps. Dianna DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Mike Coffman and Jared Polis. All but Coffman are Democrats Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog. Before that he had covered economic, budget, tax and transportation policy for National Journal, blogged at The Atlantic and reported on the business of the nation's largest law firms in California for The RecorderSource: Washington Post (DC) Author: Niraj ChokshiPublished: January 10, 2014Copyright: 2014 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on January 15, 2014 at 17:51:19 PT
HempWorld #5 
"It's for the children."Michael Bolen.
HuffPost Canada News Editor.
Stop Pretending Marijuana Prohibition Protects Children. 
Posted: 01/12/2014 11:14 pm
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 14, 2014 at 08:40:57 PT
I don't like politics either. Unfortunately it is necessary to help change the direction we have been going for so long. If how I see it going soon the Republican Party will self destruct ( Tea Party is the cause) and Democrats will be able to get things changed. The RP lives in a long gone by era and they must adopt a more open minded way of looking at situations or they will become a total minority.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on January 13, 2014 at 22:03:48 PT
My friend.
We are getting perilously close to talking about politics.Or religion... or something.I've been exposed, like you, to a bunch of nasty comment on line from people I sort of liked.Sometimes I know too much about them. I don't really like them anymore. That's unhappy.We've all been exposed to lot of juvenile and unnecessary nastiness. Aaargh. I hate it. I might be slightly insane from it and I might say something stupid. I refuse to discuss this sort of crap with people I love. In this medium I would write it. I would look at it and would say, "Does that sound right?" I would go insane and unhappy. Aaargh. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican. You've led me to not be a Libertarian. Although I did vote for Gov. Johnson cause I swore I would years ago, and I have a crush on him like a rock star.Green? Not that much. You could say I'm an Independent. I say I'm a Wild Card. My new political party of one. Me. The one person party of Me.If I seriously get to trying to talk about politics... I get very unhappy and helpless. I do not like feeling unhappy and helpless.I know our issue is political. Therefore I've had to swim in this nasty part of politics for years. But, thankfully, I'm not alone. Part of coming to C News, I've always thought, is helping each other to stay afloat. And learning, and ranting, and trying to figure out and understand what to do.I'm about saving lives. And families. And hope and saving futures. Stopping injustice. I'm so totally about quietly and as gently as I can, stopping injustice. Stopping mayhem. Stopping murder, persecution at theft by government from citizens. There were many nasty, ugly "Straws". Esequial Hernandaz was my last one. I snapped. I did not find many people that understood how I felt and what I felt I had to do. I found them at The Media Awareness Project. I found them here and at Pete's place. They gave me hope and strength to resist injustice.I'm bout people in the land of the free being shot down and killed over "contraband" plants and powders. Children. Old ladies. Old men. Innocent, innocent, innocent people suffering under the effects of some sort of government pogram and no one was caring. Somehow, hopefully, contributing to ending a terrible injustice. Letters to editors. Whether they get ink or not. But wow... the ones that did get ink. The great minds and speakers that have taken up this cause. Nathan Edelman. Tvert. Four hundred others. Supporting them. Loving them. Praying for them. Cheering and urging them on, when and where that needed to happen. Wearing away an insane rock one drip, one letter at a time. Wearing away a lie. Wearing it away with the truth. One letter at a time. I know I can't change much... but, maybe, I can help many others change one thing. That's all of us. Every one of us. I can concentrate on one thing. And when that's done, do something else. Who knew it would take so long? I didn't think it would take this long. It's been such a journey. I think they are killing people, maybe, less than they were ten or twenty years ago. I so hope so. I fear they may just be covering up news of such and it is as bad as ever. No it's not. I know it's not.We can't give up. There is only one alternative to not doing the right thing. And that's unacceptable.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 12, 2014 at 07:31:30 PT

Back in the 70s
I remember my husband getting hired by GE and we got this big book on the benefits that we would receive. It was wonderful. Our local town was growing. The houses were maintained and people had decent cars. We felt secure and decided to build our own home. Then they shut down and shipped the work to Mexico. Never again did we trust the system but became self employed. My father in law retired from Firestone with good benefits and a nice pension. Now they are gone. My father retired from Western Electric and had good benefits and life and health insurance. People that are younger then our generation don't know what it was like to be treated like so many were before. 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 12, 2014 at 07:17:30 PT

I go by the words that Jesus said.Feed the hungry etc. was telling people not to be idle when he said let he who doesn't work let them not eat. He was talking to the church not individuals I believe.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 12, 2014 at 06:16:59 PT

Living on SSI
I have seen my friend who has HIV have to live on a little over $700 a month. They both made about 60 to 70 thousand a year. I watched her sell 30 years of possessions they bought be sold for pennies at a yard sale. The safety net isn't living it is just not starving to death.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 12, 2014 at 06:12:08 PT

Better Paying Jobs
Many people that don't have a job can't find a job. The pay scale is way too low for a person to be able to support a family, buy a home, put children through school and be able to retire without serious money worries. We need employers to stop being so greedy and realize without the workers they wouldn't be wealthy.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 12, 2014 at 06:07:04 PT

Thank you for such a detailed explanation of the thinking of Republicans. I need to look into Head Start to see how it works. I don't like when I see able bodied people manipulating the system. When I see it I get upset too. I believe we need health care for everyone like other countries so people don't go broke trying to stay healthy. The health care system as it is doesn't work. I have been in and out of the ACA since it was put on line. I do not know how people can afford high payments and deductibles but that is the way the system has gone. When did it change?
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 22:52:08 PT

Grow, Charlotte's Web...
Grow!For Heaven's sake, for God's sake, for the children's sake... For their parent's and their families' sakes... For all our sakes... Grow Charlotte's Web, Grow!Grow! Flourish! Multiply! Help those children! Help those poor babies!Let no man or woman stand in the way of it's growth and distribution to those who might benefit from it! People should be rejoicing, humbled, and thankful over the miracle of what this amazing plant and those who grow it can do.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 22:37:20 PT

They don't ever say, "Trickle Down", anymore.
But they, obviously, still believe in it. They won't say it, though.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 22:02:41 PT

Tried to cut this long post into pieces...
This should have been posted before the last post and the one before this one should have been the last post. I think.Bear with me, please.What I detect the Republicans I know are thinking. I think they are hurt more than necessary by what they see, or think they see. One Republican woman I know was upset that some people, that did not not have two jobs like she and her husband did, could send their children to a year of early school, with tuition/education paid for by the government. I believe that's Headstart. Which was and is a good idea. But, it should be for all children. Especially the children of those being charged to pay for it. That Republican couple couldn't send their child to Headstart because their combined income was just enough to disqualify them from making use of the tax funded educational program, and they could not afford private school tuition. That bothered them. They see abuse not being attended to and they see a problem and they resent what they perceive.It bothered them that they had to struggle to pay for their children's medicines when their neighbor, because her children were fatherless, got them "Free". The word "Free" really irritates many Republicans. They know nothing is free. Don't ever say something is "Free" from the government around them. You might get a tutorial!They see people that seem to be having fatherless children as a way to support themselves... and some of the fathers, too. That hurts them. They resent it like a slap in the face and it is blatantly and terribly immoral behavior to them, and they do not wish to be part of supporting it. Bleeding heart liberal that I am, I see a child's life being improved. They think something was taken from their child and given to another. They, the Republicans I know, would all feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the helpless. Every one. They would never walk by a person in need and not help. They see (imagine) people sitting around with nothing productive to do and planning thefts and robberies or procreating. They imagine a lot of that procreating around. Whether it's true or widespread, or not.

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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 21:59:00 PT

What they think of the wealthy, and super wealthy.
They do not hate the wealthy, because they realize that those wealthy among us are usually the ones that pay them, or us, to work for them. They are the source of many paying jobs of one kind or another. They want as many paying jobs available as possible, so that everyone that is able bodied has access to them and can support themselves and their families and pay enough taxes to support a healthy infrastructure. To rob the employer is to rob our chances of making a living and supporting ourselves and our families. They do care for the poor, sick, and needy. They just feel like they are being taken advantage of by many, many people depending on government funds these days. They feel they are being used,like beasts of burden, by some people that make their livings by working the system. Whether it's true or not. They feel that way.They don't like things like government grants and government waste... especially to "Green" and "Liberal" things ... but they don't seem to take into account that the wealthy, including the ungreen wealthy, are way taking advantage of those "Opportunities" and grants, too. Big time. I think they kind of think that's ok... cause it could mean, they hope, more jobs. Oh yes... on prohibition of cannabis. They think it's a drug. They think it's for lazy people laying around, partying, procreating... that won't work. They have to be drug tested, often for no reason other than that their employer can benefit or profits from it somehow or for some reason, and they sometimes, resent it... so they think everyone should suffer, not just them. If they have to tow that line, so should others. Some of them think cannabis use is immoral because it's intoxication and intoxication, to them, is immoral and they are not offended at immorality being criminal. They often think drinking is immoral. They usually know someone whose life was ruined by illegal drugs. And they are usually completely ignorant of the reality they are complicit in with the illegality of drugs and what is caused by their self righteous, ignorant attitude and not just caused by someone using drugs when they shouldn't. They don't really think they have any part in hurting anyone in the name of the prohibition of some drugs.Some Republicans, like some Democrats, like some of anyone, really are full of anger and hatred and bow up and act like a-holes. Some are dependent on one form of government managed support or compensation or another, themselves... but they feel they earned it and/or paid for it. And some did, no doubt. Some other's didn't, they feel.That covers some of it, I guess. I didn't say it was right, or wrong, for that matter. It's just what I think I've seen. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 21:36:38 PT

Comments 2 and 4
FoM, I've been trying to find some answers to your ponderings that speak to the effect that you cannot understand why Republicans think the way they do. I've been thinking about that, and observing since you first mentioned it. Today I felt like I could articulate some of it... what I think they are thinking and feeling. This is what I have observed in the many, many Republicans I know or am around. It may not be true. It's just what I observe. I could be misunderstanding. I've been studying Republicans like an anthropologist. I'm sort of reporting as the Jane Goodall of Republicans. Living among them and observing them close at hand.I will say that all of them that I know are, or have been, diligent workers... even though they might not necessarily want to be. They'd perhaps rather sleep late, not have to clean up, get dressed and struggle through traffic every day, usually early in the morning. They'd like to be artists, or see if they could be, or garden... or build things or to have the time to. They'd like to stay home, be with their children, their families, focus on their hobbies and have fun... like lots of people. Everyone would like that.They, the Republicans I know, feel they have to work. They do not have a weak sense of responsibility. They have to work and they believe, so does everyone else, if they are able. No, it's not fun. It's work. But they have to do it and they do it. They resent the hell out of people that won't work, not the ones that can't work... they do not mind helping those that are in tragic or temporary hardship situations. The Republicans I know are truly shocked, dismayed, and angry at what they perceive as the obvious and apparent gall of healthy, whole individuals that express that they want and somehow, believe they should have a share of his or her earnings and their children's inheritance... just because. The Republicans I know believe in independence. They expect people to do the right thing. They struggle to care for the people in their families, and their neighbors and friends, as well. They often believe in God, but they believe the part, too, about, "This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. ... we laid down this rule for you: "If a man does not choose to work, neither shall he eat." ... which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.."Of course, they know this does not apply to those that are seriously messed up and unable to meet their own or their family member's basic needs for one reason or another. They also believe that families should care for their needy... but they do realize the struggle that involves, and they do not resent helping the destitute survive.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 11, 2014 at 21:18:56 PT

Comment 5 Hempworld Map Inc., Florida
"We want to be on the right side of history and medicine," said Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, after a hearing in Tallahassee held by the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. "The work begins today to take into account the pleas of people all around the state to do something and do it quickly, to make sure these individuals can gain access to the safest treatment without playing politics or hiding behind antiquated arguments." Well said, Representative Edwards. It was denying a sick child cannabis for medicine that brought Christie low, the bridge debacle is just another thump on the head, which he apparently needs.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 11, 2014 at 07:51:34 PT

I am reposting your link since it didn't work because of the ) behind it.see my 3 earlier posts on this subject on Cnews, here;
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Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on January 11, 2014 at 07:45:17 PT

OT "Just last month, he said, four children on the
on the Charlotte's Web waiting list died."From:, so here we see Eugenics at play... (laws never sleep)."It's for the children." Now gets a different more sinister meaning; eugenics...Long live Rocky! (not)(see my 3 earlier posts on this subject on Cnews, here; LONG DO WE THE PEOPLE LET THIS GO ON?
The Killing of the Weak Among Us Continues Un-abated!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 11, 2014 at 05:55:07 PT

It is interesting to watch how the Republican Party refuses to care for anyone but the wealthy. They just don't seem to understand. I thought Governor Christie would give Hillary a difficult run for President but he hit the self destruct button on himself. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 10, 2014 at 22:48:50 PT

Ted Cruz
Yes, he might run for president. But I don't think he can win. I sure won't vote for him. He even alienates other Republicans. So he probably won't get the nomination even if he decides to run.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 10, 2014 at 19:35:32 PT

I wish I could figure out what makes them tick. He might run for President to boot!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 10, 2014 at 17:42:17 PT

I don't care for this one.
Senator Ted Cruz attacks Obama for not locking up marijuana users in Colorado I do not like green eggs and ham.
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