Saturday, June 16, 2018

Banks take on Sessions over legalized pot

By Zachary Warmbrodt

Lenders see the potential for lucrative business in working with the burgeoning industry.

Marijuana is pictured. | Getty Images
While pot polarizes policymakers, lenders are going out of their way to avoid taking a position on whether marijuana should be legal. But they want to see legislation that explicitly protects their industry. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The nation's banks are taking on Attorney General Jeff Sessions over pot with a big lobbying push to loosen federal restrictions on the surging legalized marijuana industry.

Emboldened by support from both President Donald Trump and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — two relentless foes on most other issues — top banking trade groups are pressing policymakers to make it easier for their members to serve cannabis businesses that are now legal in states like California and Colorado.

“If we’re not at a turning point, we’re very close to it,” said Cam Fine, the former head of the Independent Community Bankers of America trade association.

Even Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, is pushing for action on the issue.

“This is a very difficult area,” Powell said during a press conference this week. “It puts federally chartered banks in a very difficult situation. It would be great if that could be clarified.”

Lenders see the potential for lucrative business in working with the industry. So they’re backing proposals that would address conflicts between a growing number of permissive state laws and the longstanding federal ban on the sale of marijuana that has chilled banks’ appetite to offer accounts to pot-related businesses.

The unresolved legal questions have been heightened by Sessions’ public campaign against legalizing marijuana. That’s left many banks on the sidelines and forced pot businesses to carry out transactions in cash, making them a target for theft and violence.

The American Bankers Association believes “the time has come for Congress and the regulatory agencies to provide greater legal clarity to banks operating in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical or adult use,” a spokesman said.

“Those banks, including institutions that have no interest in directly banking marijuana-related businesses, face rising legal and regulatory risks, and ever increasing ambiguity and uncertainty, as the marijuana industry grows,” the spokesman said. The ABA’s membership includes thousands of large and small banks.

The Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents the nation’s smallest lenders, went a step further last week by endorsing for the first time a pot banking bill that would restrict federal regulators from penalizing banks that provide services to marijuana businesses.

The bill by Democratic Reps. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado and Denny Heck of Washington has more than 90 co-sponsors, including 13 Republicans. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has introduced a companion bill with 17 co-sponsors, including 12 Democrats, four Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Credit Union National Association said Tuesday it also supports the legislation.

The community bank trade association’s decision to back the bill followed a decision by its board in March to get behind marijuana banking legislation, said Aaron Stetter, the group's executive vice president of policy and political operations.

One catalyst for the banks to act more aggressively was Sessions’ decision in January to withdraw Obama-era guidelines that curbed prosecutions of businesses that sold pot in compliance with state law.

“The fear now is the lack of the rules of the road,” Stetter said. “The rescission of the [Justice Department] memo just left too much doubt out there. What banks are always looking for is certainty.”

The move by Sessions also provoked Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014. Gardner teamed up with Warren to introduce legislation last week that would carve cannabis businesses out of federal Controlled Substances Act restrictions if they're complying with state or tribal laws that permit the production and distribution of marijuana.

The bill, according to a letter of support from the Credit Union National Association, would give legal protection to financial institutions that accept deposits from and offer credit and payment services to marijuana-related businesses.

The bill’s introduction gave banks’ lobbying effort a fresh dose of star power from Warren, a liberal icon and potential 2020 presidential candidate, and conservative appeal via Gardner, who says it’s a chance to “express that federalism works” and give states the freedom to make their own decisions.

Trump kept the bill in the headlines June 8 when he said he “probably will end up supporting” the legislation — the latest in a series of comments at odds with Sessions and the Justice Department.

“When you have somebody with the national clout of Elizabeth Warren and somebody like Cory Gardner join forces, that sends a very, very strong signal that maybe the time is either here or rapidly approaching that the Congress will start to deal with this issue in a serious way,” said Fine, the former community bank lobbyist.

But the issue continues to polarize policymakers, even though lenders are going out of their way to avoid taking a position on whether marijuana should be legal in the first place. And while momentum is building, bank lobbyists want to see legislation that even more explicitly protects the industry. They also want regulators to come off the sidelines and outline their positions.

Some in the banking industry see the competing bills that have already been introduced as compatible efforts that should be further expanded.

The Trump administration’s position on the issue is inconsistent across the White House and agencies. Though Sessions revoked guidance in January, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, responsible for combating money laundering, has kept in place its 2014 guidelines clarifying how financial institutions can provide services to marijuana businesses while complying with anti-money laundering rules.

The continuity of the Treasury guidance has provided some degree of certainty to banks. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are urging the administration to preserve the policy, which also guides how regulators treat banks that provide services to the industry.

Legislation isn’t expected to advance until the next session of Congress, at the earliest. Perlmutter, the Colorado Democrat whose marijuana bill focuses on financial institutions, said his legislation would pass if brought to the floor, but that “several powerful Republican committee chairs” have thwarted his attempts to move it forward.

“We have reached a tipping point on this issue, and I believe it is only a matter of time before we are able to make real progress,” he said.

Shares in Hong Kong pharmaceutical firm soar after issuing shares to China-based hemp producer to explore medical cannabis


Shares in Hong Kong pharmaceutical firm soar after issuing shares to China-based hemp producer to explore medical cannabis

Hong Kong-based pharmaceutical firm Meilleure Health International Industry Group issued 312 million new shares to Hemp Investment Group, a Chinese hemp producer, for around HK$109 million (US$13.92 million) in order to explore the therapeutic uses of cannabis in China. As a result of this move, shares in Meilleure rose by as much as 35% on Thursday, February 22.
According to Meilleure Health, net proceeds from the share subscription will be used to enlarge the company’s capital base as well as to prepare for business development opportunities related to the hemp health industry. The company also wants to explore the production of treatment and prevention products for diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as analgesics and antidepressants, using cannabinoids as core component.
The new shares issued to Hemp Investment Group represent 7.98% of the pharmaceutical company’s enlarged share capital. Meilleure Health said before the market opened that it would be allotting 312 million new shares at HK$0.35 per share to Hemp Investment, which is jointly controlled by Tan Xin and Zhang Ke. Zhang holds 70% equity interest in the Chinese company while Tan holds 30%.
The HK$0.35 per share price of the new shares represents an 18.6% discount to Meilleure’s HK$0.43-per-share closing price on Tuesday.
According to Meilleure Health, net proceeds from the share subscription will be used to enlarge the company’s capital base as well as to prepare for business development opportunities related to the hemp health industry. The company also wants to explore the production of treatment and prevention products for diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as analgesics and antidepressants, using cannabinoids as core component.  
Meilleure Health is controlled by Zhou Xuzhou, who is also the founder and chief executive officer of U-Home Group International.
Hemp Investment Group is China’s only company with a hemp cultivation license and a hemp lower and leaf processing license. These licenses are compliance with the Good Manufacturing Practice standards.
Meilleure Health also said in a statement that its deal with Hemp Investment Group will allow the two companies to build closer ties and will facilitate cooperation between them when it comes to coming up with health and pharmaceutical products, including skin care and functional food items.
China is the largest hemp producer in the world, accounting for about 50% of the global hemp production. China is also the largest hemp paper and hemp textile exporter. In some Chinese provinces, like Heilongjiang and Yunnan, the production of hemp is also legal.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant, specifically the cannabis sativa species, that is mainly grown for its industrial uses. Unlike other cannabis plant varieties, however, hemp contains lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the psychoactive chemical component in cannabis that creates high. Hemp leaves and flowers can be used to make products with potent anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties.
It can be recalled that last week, Wuhu Meilleure, which is a fully owned unit of Meilleure Health, agreed to acquire 20% of hemp product processor Hansu Biotechnology for CNY60 million (US$9.4 million). Hansu Biotechnology, which is a subsidiary of Hemp Investment Group, is based in Yunnan province.
According to data from the Yunnan provincial government, the province has granted hemp cultivation licenses on more than 36,300 acres of land since the year 2010.

About Hemp Investment Group

Hemp Investment Group Co., Ltd., which is also known as HMI Group, specializes in hemp whole industrial chain investment, which includes planting of hemp, extraction, research and development, production, and sale of industrial hemp products all over the world. It also covers bio-pharmaceuticals, textile fiber, composite materials, daily necessities, and biomass.
Yunnan Hansu Biotechnology Co. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Hemp Investment Group. Hansu specializes in industrial hemp plant extraction, where it applies modern extraction technology in the isolation of cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical component in hemp. CBD is believed to have strong medical benefits.

About Meilleure Health

Meilleure Health International Industry Group Ltd. is an investment holding company engaged in the trading of chemical materials and health care products, as well as building materials.

Hemp Biomass: What in the world is it?


Hemp Biomass: What in the world is it???

It turns out that hemp not only gives us medical and recreational cannabis products, but it also gives us bio-fuel.
According to research, hemp can be one of the bio-fuels of the future.

What is biomass?

Recent developments related to hemp production have shown that hemp can be used as an additive to food products like breads, pasta, milk, and cake mixes. But it doesn’t stop there. Hemp has also been found to be a good source of fuel.
Hemp is regarded valuable to the energy sector because its by-products can provide alternative fuels.
Hemp specifically falls under a fuel classification that is called biomass. Biomass is a term for the organic matter that can be converted into and used as fuel, and is thus considered as a potential renewable energy source.
Researchers and scientists have used hemp to produce biofuel and industrial oil.

Hemp biomass is great for farmers

Australian hemp advocate Klara Marosszeky said that growing hemp is a great sustainable alternative for small farmers. Not to mention that it is also great for the environment.
According to her, biomass produced by hemp is equivalent to the same area of forest per year, but it is produced in a four-month growth period.

How is bio-fuel created from hemp?

Hemp biomass is processed into fuel through biological digestion or chemical decomposition.
The waste from hemp cannabis plant is taken and is transformed into a carbon nanomaterial. This carbon nanomaterial can be used as substitute for the more expensive graphene, which is a nanomaterial that is used in high-power super capacitors and batteries. Super capacitors are used in the fast-charging batteries for electronics like laptops, smartphones, and vehicle braking systems.


Compared to many other annual crops, hemp requires less pesticide and herbicide application. Hemp is also an amazing alternative rotation crop as it preserves and replenishes the soil’s nitrates. Moreover, when hemp is grown on a large scale, it will strike a balance in carbon dioxide emissions as the hemp plant breathes carbon dioxide and it will also emit equal amounts of it when it is burned as a fuel.
You can employ the process of pyrolysis, which is a refining technique in which heat is applied to the plant to convert it to fuel oil, in current fossil fuel oil refining facilities with the use of similar technology. However, for pyrolysis to be cost-effective, facilities need to be located within 50 miles of the crop field.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Senate Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Protections...

Marijuana Justice Act Picks Up Support, Attorney General Jeff Sessions Stays Committed to Federal Cannabis Laws: Week In Review

By CBT Staff
Senate Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Protections, Marijuana Justice Act Picks Up Support, Attorney General Jeff Sessions Stays Committed to Federal Cannabis Laws: Week In Review
In another fast-paced week in the cannabis industry, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed state-legal medical marijuana protections, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, the U.S. Senate approved a hemp measure recognizing the value of the plant, Attorney Jeff Sessions showed no indication of softening his anti-cannabis stance and more.
  • Federal: For the third year in a row, the U.S. Senate has adopted a nonbinding resolution recognizing the value of hemp without actually legalizing it. The legislation, adopted June 5, recognizes "the growing economic potential of industrial hemp" as well as its "historical relevance." Read more
  • Language from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s industrial hemp legislation that would legalize production and sales of the plant was included in the U.S. Senate’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill. The move comes four years after McConnell inserted industrial hemp research pilot program guidance into the 2014 Farm Bill. Read more
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions shows no signs of backing away from a potential Department of Justice (DOJ) crackdown on state-legal cannabis businesses, despite an agreement reached by President Donald Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) earlier this spring. Sessions told Colorado Public Radio that he was not told by Trump to back off from states that have legalized cannabis: “I did not have a meeting to discuss in detail what [Gardner’s] comments were,” he said. “They were more about the potential future legislation, as I recall it, and we were not ordered to do anything other than the policies that we intend to carry out nationally.” Read more
  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act June 7, joining Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) originally introduced the bill in August 2017 to essentially legalize cannabis at the federal level. Read more
  • Mayors from seven U.S. cities in states with legal marijuana said June 11 that they have formed a coalition to push for federal marijuana policy reform just days after President Donald Trump expressed support for bipartisan congressional legislation to ease the federal ban on marijuana. Mayors from Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and West Sacramento—all in marijuana-friendly states—sponsored a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston that asked the U.S. government to remove cannabis from a list of illegal drugs, among other things. Read more
  • A U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee vote pushed state-legal medical marijuana protections even further down the legislative process on June 14, echoing what the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment achieved in past spending bills. The amendment would bar the DOJ from spending money on the prosecution of any licensed medical cannabis business or operator in states where medical cannabis is legal. Read more
  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced The RESPECT Resolution—Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades—June 14 to elevate the importance of building pathways of opportunity for individuals who have been most adversely impacted by the war on marijuana consumers. The RESPECT Resolution seeks both economic and reparative justice, ensuring that disenfranchised communities will be able to benefit equally in the emerging legal and regulated industry. Read more
  • Michigan: The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board was supposed to distribute the first licenses to cannabis businesses this week, but those businesses will have to wait another month before opening their doors after the June 11 meeting was cancelled. The board was set to award licenses to four applicants that represent four large marijuana growing operations, a secure transport company, a dispensary in Ann Arbor and a processor. Read more
  • Colorado: Cannabis advocates in Colorado are disappointed following Gov. John Hickenlooper’s rapid-fire vetoes of bills that would have added autism to the state’s medical marijuana program, permitted licensed marijuana “tasting rooms” and helped cannabis businesses access out-of-state capital. “He just basically torpedoed this legislation, and the reasoning he provided is not particularly compelling,” said Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. Read more
  • Canada: The federal Liberal government is rejecting more than a dozen Senate amendments to its landmark law to legalize cannabis, including the upper chamber’s efforts to further limit—or ban outright—the ability to cultivate marijuana at home. In a motion put before the House of Commons, the Liberals say they can’t support a Senate amendment that would allow provinces to ban home cultivation of marijuana, arguing that the bill already gives provinces and territories the ability to impose their own restrictions. Read more

Dream Machines: Investing in industrial hemp’s future


Multicombine bird's eye _2 copy

The MCHC 3400 hemp harvester from HANF FARM, Germany, is a major advancement in the field.

With all the big hemp money chasing CBD, its no wonder that Isolate Extraction Systems is flourishing. Well-positioned in the expanding hemp value chain, IES, Louisville, Colorado, USA has predicated a big part of its future on growing demand for cannabidiol. The company already has more than 100 extraction installations in 45 U.S. states that turn out compounds from hemp and other raw material via its CO2-based extraction technology, CEO Kelly Knutson said.
IES is currently in the process of designing and building a new CO2 machine that is not only faster and more efficient than ethanol, butane, or steam, but which can also automatically separate terpenes, oils and waxes mid-process, a major advancement.
The investment represented in this highly sophisticated technology is considerable. Extraction systems can range in price from several hundred thousand Euros for a baby one, to millions for large industrial operations. Aside from IES’s home market in the U.S., Knutson sees demand developing from Australia to Europe, in Canada, and Central & South America. And while the extraction technology sub-sector may be a particularly sweet spot in the CBD value chain, big money is chasing the business at every link. All of that is good to hear.

In the fields and workshops

But machines to harvest the full promise of hemp also are needed closer to the earth, where most of the current investments are in blood, sweat and tears over some dream machine. In pockets around the world, independent entrepreneurs – engineers and other problem solvers – are developing small-scale, specialized hemp machines, usually providing the needed cash too.
German engineer Heinrich Wieker’s bud stripper harvester picked up an innovation award at ExpoCanamo in Spain in May 2018.
German engineer Heinrich Wieker has been in hemp fields and in the workshop for three years developing a mobile harvester and electrically driven hemp bud stripper that can work in the field or in a barn or small factory. It travels on a trailer behind any small truck or jeep.
While “hand-harvested” may sound like a good marketing slogan, taking swarms of people into the field to collect a crop is less and less economically feasible as supplies of hemp raw material expand. The harvester being developed by Wieker’s firm, Henry’s Harvester, Burgdorf, Germany, is designed to deliver fluffy whole flower tops sorted from the plant’s stems. Traveling through a system of chains and rollers, stems are collected on one side of the machine while flowers are gathered on the other.

Out-of-pocket financing

Wieker invested personal money and signed on to bank loans to finance his harvester, all the time working a day job. His goal is to give small farmers an efficiency boost while allowing them to expand their fields, facilitating high-quality bud production while cutting labor costs.
Image result for MCHC 3400 hemp harvester
In Latvia, Voldemars Cirulis, left, and Kristaps Eglitis are working on a decorticator project started by the 95-year-old Cirulis, who is blind, while living in Australia in the early 2000s. (Photo: John Rembold)
In tiny Dzukste, Latvia, metal worker Kristaps Eglitis is working with Voldemars Cirulis on another little dream machine, a decorticator project started by the 95-year-old Cirulis while living in Australia in the early 2000s. For the small but growing number of hempcrete building enthusiasts around the world – that includes Eglitis – it’s the kind of machine that could finally be arriving at its place in hemp time.

The value of small-scale machines

These small machines fit into the current hemp landscape in two important ways. First, they have the potential to help spark a revival of the small farming enterprise. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives – in which producers and consumers share the risks of growing food while keeping supply and demand in balance locally – have functioned in Europe for several years.
Advocates see hemp as a perfect fit into this strategy which aims to keep the supply chain close to the food source. Hemp, these visionaries say, offers not just food for the community but the potential for clothing, health aids, efficient homes and even fuel. It’s a vision that puts hemp at the center of agrarian renewal, and a more sustainable way of life.
Small and medium-sized machines, mobile machines – affordable machines – also are necessary in the interim before more industrial-scale farms come on line in the giant agriculture nations such as Canada, the United States, China, India, and Australia. As the industry grows slowly but steadily, hemp fields continue to be generally small, particularly, and unfortunately, in the U.S. where federal and state governments dictate limitations on the crop’s cultivation.

Big farm machines also rolling

At the other end of the farming spectrum, European hemp veteran Rafael Dulon, HANF FARM, GmbH, Berlin, continues to innovate on his Multi-Combine HC 3400 platform – a wildly flexible industrial-scale hemp harvester that’s been working fields across Europe for the past three years. The system allows for the lopping off of the crop several times during the yearly vegetation, and can harvest short and long varieties of hemp as it chews through the field at 10-12 kilometers per hour, collecting and then sorting the stems, seeds and flowers.
“Of course, financially, it’s a long term investment,” Dulon said of the MC HC 3400. “But continuing to perfect the harvester is a labor of love. It’s our expression of confidence in the industry,” said Dulon, a 20-year veteran in European hemp circles, a farmer and producer of hemp foods as well as flower and leaf material for extraction.
Despite the relatively restricted situation in the USA, Power Zone, a Colorado developer, also is offering a big-scale harvester and processing ensemble – one that can be used with existing farm machinery, a key selling point for farmers looking to maximize their return on investment. The platform – again, self-financed – which is designed for optimal flower yield for CBD oil and to collect hemp straw, can crawl through the field at a rate of 12 acres per hour, and features cut options ranging between six inches and 15 feet off the ground. Power Zone’s Fiber Track decortication equipment can process up to 10 tons of hemp straw per hour, turning it into hurd for building materials.

Thank the tinkerers

Like everything else in the hemp industry these days, technological advancement cries out for investment. It’s good to hear the roar of the CBD sector. It’s an attractive portal to hemp for the early, high-stakes investors needed to keep things moving. Meanwhile, back down the value chain, we should thank the tinkerers, engineers and other dreamers who, with their own time and money are contributing to the industry at the grass roots level while they chase the perfect hemp machine. They send an important signal: If we’re to harvest hemp for all it offers, greater investment in technology and machines is needed up and down the value chain.

Proposed U.S. banking fix for marijuana may not open all doors

By Michael R. Blood

#stockphoto marijuana

A proposal in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana could encourage more banks to do business with cannabis companies, but it appears to fall short of a cure-all for an industry that must operate mainly as a cash business in a credit card world.
Marijuana is legal in some form in about 30 states, but companies that grow or sell it often are locked out at banks. Their money isn't wanted because the drug is illegal under federal law and transactions tied to pot proceeds could expose financial institutions to money-laundering charges.
The bipartisan measure — which received tentative support from President Donald Trump — would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana, without federal interference. It also includes language intended to address the banking gap caused by the federal ban.
The legislation has been praised as a strong step, but "standing alone, it's likely not a silver bullet for the banking problem," said California pot industry attorney Nicole Howell Neubert, a member of a state task force that studied the banking stalemate.
"Most financial institutions will be looking for even more affirmative direction from (Washington) to feel comfortable with banking cannabis companies," she said in a statement.
The shortage of banking services has been a major obstacle to the industry, often forcing businesses to conduct sales and pay vendors and taxes in cash, sometimes in vast amounts that can become targets for criminals.
The number of financial institutions working with marijuana companies has been growing, but it's still a small fraction overall.
The Mountain West Credit Union Association and the Maine Credit Union League said in a joint statement that the legislation would "provide the certainty we need ... to service this growing industry."
The measure, which faces an uncertain future in Congress, does not legalize marijuana nationally. But it takes steps to allow banks to handle marijuana funds without the risk of federal prosecution.
For example, it says money from marijuana businesses in states where the drug is legal would no longer be considered illegal proceeds, and it would allow banks to accept those funds without breaking money-laundering laws.
Even then, risk remains as banks face a range of compliance rules by accepting marijuana-linked money. The Bank Secrecy Act requires that banks know their customers well enough to ensure they are not engaging in money laundering, said Julie A. Hill, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law.
"This likely means that a bank accepting marijuana money would have to do enough research to know that their customers are complying with state law regarding the sale of marijuana," Hill said. "The bank would likely have to confirm that the marijuana is not sold to minors or sold for transport to states where it is illegal."
Banks could face penalties if they don't meet such requirements.
They also are urged to watch for warning signs of possible illegal activity, such as financial statements provided by a business not squaring with account activity.
Because the cost of doing such research would be high, some banks might choose to stay away from marijuana money, Hill said in an email.
If the legislation passes, it's likely marijuana will stay illegal in some conservative-leaning states, such as South Dakota and Kansas. Some banks in those states might then be uneasy about handling marijuana dollars coming from places where the drug is legal.
"I don't imagine the ... financial institution would take that risk to take in funds from a business considered illegal in that state," said Beth Mills of the Western Bankers Association.
Another uncertainty that could give banks pause: The conflict between Trump, who signaled his support for the legislation, and his own Justice Department.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions staunchly opposes marijuana and lifted an Obama administration policy in order to allow federal prosecutors to more aggressively pursue cases in states that have legalized marijuana.
Colorado tried to set up a credit union in 2015 to serve the pot industry but the Federal Reserve blocked it. In Oregon, the state Department of Revenue built a fortress-like office for dropping off and counting cash.
Some pot businesses have tried to open bank accounts by setting up management companies or nonprofit organizations with ambiguous names — basically, by misleading the banks. But those accounts can be shut down if a bank realizes where the money is coming from.
Other proposals in Congress also are intended to open the way for more banks to handle marijuana dollars, but it's not clear if any have enough support to reach Trump's desk.
After a House committee rejected one such measure Wednesday, Kevin Sabet, head of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a nonpartisan group opposed to marijuana legalization, said it would have "opened up direct access to Wall Street investment into the sales and marketing of pot candies, cookies and ice creams."