California Senate OKs special banks for marijuana retailers

The California Senate has voted to allow special banks to handle money from legal marijuana retailers.

Posted: May 21, 2019 12:19 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Senate has voted to allow special banks to handle money from legal marijuana retailers.

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California since January 2018 but is still illegal under federal law.

That means licensed marijuana retailers cannot use traditional banks because federal law makes it a crime for traditional banks to handle money from criminal activity, which includes federal drug laws.

The Senate voted 35-1 on Tuesday to pass a bill that would create cannabis limited charter banks and cannabis limited charter credit unions.

The banks could accept cash deposits and issue special purpose checks retailers could use to pay taxes, rent, or vendors and to purchase bonds or other debt.

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

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