Senator Pat Steadman has worked for months for a credit union for the medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. Steadman introduced a bill today in Denver that would have solved the banking issues the medical marijuana dispensaries are facing, was defeated.
Banks have dropped dispensaries all over Colorado because of a rift in the law between Federal and State law. Leaving almost all of the dispensaries in the area with a cash only system, a few dispensaries were grand fathered in by their banks.
This creates more than just an inconvenience issue for patients. Dispensary owners are left without a place to deposit their money from their legitimate state license business. Some owners have come up with creative ways around this by paying employees in cash and buying prepaid cards for online bills.
Steadman’s bill would have enabled legislation allowing various groups to come together and form a medical marijuana credit union. But the bill was shot down by a 5-2 margin after several hours of deliberation by the Senate’s finance committee.
Steadman said yesterday that even if the bill passes he’s not completely sure it would solve the medical marijuana banking issue.
“The solution doesn’t lie at the State Capitol in Denver,” he maintained. “This is a problem with federal law and federal law enforcement agencies. We have been searching and searching for some kind of work-around. The bill we came up with has the potential, but for various reasons, I’m not sure it’s all there.”
It’s really a shame this bill failed. It would have done a great deal of benefit for the medical marijuana business in the state of Colorado. Not to mention how convenient it is to pay with your card and not have to carry cash around.