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Statement From Marijuana Industry Group Director Michael Elliott

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Statement in response to the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of HB 1398, allowing cannabis credit co-ops to potentially provide banking services to the marijuana industry.

Colorado has 500 pages of marijuana law and regulations which includes state and local licensing, mandatory background checks, financial disclosures, video surveillance, alarm systems, seed-to-sale tracking, RFID tags, child-resistant packaging, labeling, and testing.

Despite this comprehensive program, we have been unable to solve the banking issue in Colorado. A lack of basic banking services such as checking and merchant services has caused serious public safety and accountability issues that arise from this being a cash-dominant industry.

Most everyone agrees that banking needs to be fixed at the federal level. However, Congress appears to be unwilling to act, and Coloradans don’t have time to wait.

Colorado is trying everything possible to solve this problem.

HB1398 is likely not a solution to the banking problem, but an opportunity to move the conversation forward. It will allow cannabis credit coops to form, and seek permission from the Fed to access merchant services and checking.

The Fed will likely not grant this access. Colorado is doing everything possible to solve this issue, and HB 1398 will give us a new opportunity to try to get approval by the Fed.

We would like to thank Governor Hickenlooper and the Governor’s office for pursuing this bill. And we would like to thank the bill sponsors: Representative Singer, and Senators Steadman and Balmer. The bill passed today with bi-partisan support. The bill still needs to be signed by the Governor.

The ultimate solution to banking lies with the United States Congress. We continue to urge Congress to address banking. This is no longer an issue about marijuana, but about safety, transparency, and accountability.

Michael Elliott
Director, Marijuana Industry Group

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