Report squashes hopes for California-backed marijuana bank
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would likely lose money and face insurmountable federal hurdles if it tried to create a state-backed bank for the marijuana industry.
That’s according to a report released Thursday by state Treasurer John Chiang.
It puts an end for now to hopes of creating a public bank as California’s recreational marijuana market concludes its first year. Chiang is blasting the federal government for keeping marijuana a Schedule 1 drug even though 33 states have legalized it for recreational or medicinal purposes.
Banks are nervous about running afoul of federal law by doing business with the industry, forcing many pot businesses to deal in large sums of cash.
State lawmakers have already rejected a state-backed bank. Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office says it’s not advisable.