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One of the biggest issues for marijuana companies right now is setting up a bank account. Because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, banks are afraid of federal crackdowns.
That means a marijuana dispensary can't deposit cash or take out a loan to help grow its business.
However, that could soon change…
The administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state regulators "will not impose any regulatory action on a New York State chartered bank or credit union solely for establishing a banking relationship with a medical marijuana-related business that operates a compliant business in New York," according to a July 3 MarijuanaMoment.net report.
As long as banks comply with Obama-era Justice and Treasury Department memos, they won't have to worry about being hassled by the state.
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Of course, what the federal government wants to do is a different matter.
But this is still a promising development.
Now, let's take a look at three of the other biggest stories developing in the marijuana industry…
What's Happening in the Marijuana Industry Today
- On July 11, the leader of Brazil's Workers' Party introduced legislation to legalize all marijuana use. Brazil would establish a legal sales system throughout the country, and the bill would allow cultivation of up to six plants. While cannabis was decriminalized in Brazil in 2006, it still remains illegal. A 2014 government poll shows 57% of Brazilians support legalizing medical marijuana.
- One concern about legalizing marijuana is that dispensaries will attract shady characters and bring trouble to neighborhoods. However, that may not be true. According to a study from the think tank RAND, there is no a correlation between county laws that legally permit dispensaries and reported violent crimes.
- S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is trying to help the hemp industry grow. In a bill submitted on June 26, the senator wants to stop federal authorities from punishing banks that work with business that grow, process, and sell hemp products. In 2016, hemp industry sales reached $688 million.