Medical and Recreational Cannabis use in California
Medical Cannabis sales in California will eventually reach several billion $$ and some predictions are as high as $25 Billion or more in the future. The California Cannabis Industry already employs thousands of people and generates significant revenue for local cities, counties, and the State, and will generate much more revenue in the future probably nearing $1 billion possibly more in taxes as the industry grows.
One issue and difficulty facing the Cannabis Industry and its owners of dispensaries, grow and production facilities in California is lack of banking. Federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic and banks fear being penalized by the Federal Government for money laundering. It is therefore an all cash business and in the future it will be remarkable that more than $25 billion dollars may be floating around in cash exposing the cannabis facilities, its employees, and law enforcement to needlessly very dangerous situations in robberies.
The Cannabis Industry in California needs to be able to bank just like any other industry. I will work with the State Treasurer to solve this problem post haste, perhaps a State owned self insured Credit Union. In addition, the Cannabis Industry needs to be able to use merchant services just like any other business. In short, billions of dollars cannot be floating around in peoples backpacks, paper bags, safes, homes, facilities etc. Cannabis facilities must be able to bank just like any other business in California. This problem needs to be resolved ASAP!