[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]N[/dropcap]ew guidelines introduced in Colorado will help financial institutions work more closely with cannabis businesses, giving them banking access.
According to U.S. News, Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies unveiled these guidelines on Feb. 3. This is a big deal because previously in Colorado, businesses struggled with gaining access to banking. As in most legal places in the U.S., this is because of the federally illegal status of cannabis.
These guidelines will help banks feel more comfortable working with cannabis companies so that they don’t have to worry about getting into trouble with the law by doing business together.
“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,” said Polis. “We are excited to release a bold, forward-thinking roadmap to provide much-needed guidance, clarity and support to state-chartered financial service providers that work with or are interested in working with the state-legal cannabis industry.”
This is clearly a positive step, but some still feel it’s not enough. Rep. Ed Perlmutter said he appreciates this but would like to see more done on a federal level as well. “Too many Colorado businesses, employees, and communities have been targets of assault, robbery, and other crimes due to the conflict between state and federal law when it comes to cannabis banking,” Perlmutter said. “Only by aligning state and federal law can we fully resolve the issues necessary to get cash off our streets and improve public safety in our communities.”
Colorado politicians have been good about protecting cannabis-using citizens since they first legalized. They recently introduced a law that would protect cannabis users in the workplace and folks on probation in Colorado are now able to use medical cannabis.