Let banks serve marijuana businesses, Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson tell Senate

Staff writerSeptember 9, 2013 

Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson wrote to a U.S. Senate committee Monday asking for legislation that would allow banks to serve state-licensed marijuana businesses, so the pot sellers won't have to do all their business in cash.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the conflict between federal marijuana laws and the laws in the states, including pot-legalizing Colorado and Washington.

Inslee and Ferguson cited a measure sponsored by their fellow Democrat, U.S. Rep. Denny Heck of Olympia, as an example of legislation that would let banks accept deposits from the new businesses that will start cropping up once Washington issues licenses next year.

Separately from his bill, which he has acknowledged is unlikely to pass soon, Heck has asked regulators to provide guidance to banks about what they should do. Inslee and Ferguson suggested the banking regulators themselves need guidance, and asked that the Department of Justice provide some.

Here's the letter:

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