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Plan to establish marijuana banks becomes law
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Denver • Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation to try to establish the world's first financial system for the largely cash-only marijuana industry.

The bill signed Friday morning seeks to form a network of uninsured cooperatives designed to give pot businesses a way to access basic banking services.

Banks that fear violating federal law do not allow marijuana businesses access to basic financial services. That has led to fears that the burgeoning marijuana industry can be a target for robberies.

Colorado became the first state to allow recreational pot sales on Jan. 1.

The legislation would allow pot businesses to pool money in cooperatives. However, that will only happen with the blessing of the U.S. Federal Reserve. That has prompted some to argue the legislation could be only symbolic.

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