We are pleased Americans passed eight of the nine marijuana items that were on last month’s ballots. Approval may seem like an accomplishment, but it really only produces a single step in the journey of legalization. With each state having a unique plan, larger states can have an advantage through population and funds.
As exemplified by California State Treasurer John Chiang, who has formed a group to address the banking problems of the cannabis industry. The group consists of representatives from local government, taxing authorities, banks, the marijuana industry, and law enforcement. Their goal is to address the problems that result from federal regulations that cause banks to refuse to serve businesses in the cannabis industry.
California’s yearly tax revenues are estimated to increase over $1 billion due to the commercialization of recreational cannabis. John Chiang sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump for assistance to resolve the conflict between federal and state laws with respect to the cannabis industry’s inability to access standard banking systems. The California expansion to legalize recreational marijuana increases concerns of taxation and security, so it will be interesting to see how Trump responds.