Will Native Americans Solve the Cannabis Industry Banking Crisis?

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The marijuana business is legal in Colorado, and federal law enforcement agencies have shown great reluctance to interfere in state-legalized cannabis commerce. But despite local legality and federal tolerance, the marijuana trade still technically violates federal law. The banking system in the United States is federally regulated, too, and that presents a terrific challenge to businesses that make money from legal marijuana sales. But Native Americans may have a viable solution that involves establishing banks with sovereign Native American territory. The Challenge Since banks are federally regulated they can be fined, face serious legal repercussions, and even be closed down if they facilitate illegal transactions. As a result, they do not want to accept deposits from cannabis merchants. Without a legal way to make bank deposits, those businesses are forced…
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Marijuana and DUI in Denver: Still a Work in Progress

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When marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Denver, one of the greatest concerns was that it would lead to an increase in traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities due to driving while impaired. Now, for the first time, the Colorado State Highway Patrol has released data related to DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) citations. The good news so far is that traffic fatalities across Colorado fell during 2014, which surprised some experts. New Data from the Highway Patrol In its rather extensive annual report, the Colorado State Patrol revealed that more than 12% of the impaired driving citations that it issued in 2014 involved suspicion of marijuana use. In about half of those cases the authorities concluded that marijuana was the sole…
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Denver Marijuana Prices Should Remain Steady in 2015

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Legalization of recreational marijuana use and sale in Denver has had a profound economic impact on the Mile High City, and much of that has been felt in terms of pricing for pot for personal recreational consumption. A decade ago, for example, an ounce of top-quality illegal weed could be bought on the streets of Denver for about $350. Then prices fell about 15 percent about five years ago, a change that was precipitated by the advent of medical marijuana dispensaries. Since people could buy legal pot for medical reasons the black market demand shrank and dealers in the black market had to lower their prices. Once weed became legal for recreational use in Denver, black market prices suffered a very significant hit and virtually collapsed. [table id=2 /] Weed…
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Denver’s Marijuana Money: Can it be too much of a good thing?

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When Colorado led the way by legalizing recreational marijuana, it revolutionized the political landscape and set a precedent for other states – and perhaps the nation – to follow. But it also did wonders for the local economy. The legal pot experiment has proved to be a robust source of revenue for marijuana industry entrepreneurs, other sectors like tourism, and for local and state tax collectors.  One group who has not participated in the prosperity so far, however, is the banking community. That’s a bit strange, since banks are usually in on the ground floor whenever business booms in a particular market, acting as primary facilitators of that success. The Unusual Cannabis Conundrum The problem is that the banking system in the United States is federally regulated. If you want…
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