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In a major setback to cannabis companies operating in California, state lawmakers decided to cancel a plan to allow the state to license private banks to deal with legal marijuana companies.

The plan was originally put in place to handle the billions of dollars expected to be generated by the legal market, of which, none can be affiliated with the typical banking system. Because banks are federally regulated, and marijuana is still considered a schedule 1 drug by the federal government, any bank affiliated with a cannabis company, even if legal within their state, is subject to potential prosecution. 

The bill, originally proposed by Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg, would have allowed the state to license special privately financed banks to handle cannabis and cannabis related revenues. 

The bill has been shut down because of what a legislative analysis referred to as “significant obstacles”, including that the bill could not guarantee the banks  protection from federal ;law enforcement prosecution. As such, the proposal would have actually made it easier for federal prosecutors to identify and charge those banks, because there would have been a smaller number of them, and made them more easily identifiable. 

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-good-data-will-be-key-to-measuring-marijuanas-impact/

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