Cannabis Shops Face a Critical Stumbling Block

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As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block — lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading an effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses, from chemists who test marijuana for harmful substances to firms that provide security, don’t have their banking services taken away.

It’s part of a wider effort by Warren and others to bring the burgeoning $7 billion marijuana industry in from a fiscal limbo she said forces many shops to rely solely on cash, making them tempting targets for criminals.

After voters in Warren’s home state approved a November ballot question to legalize the recreational use of pot, she joined nine other senators in sending a letter to a key federal regulator, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, calling on it to issue additional guidance to help banks provide services to marijuana shop vendors.

Twenty-eight states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use.

Warren, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said there are benefits to letting marijuana-based businesses move away from a cash-only model.

By Steve LeBlanc – Continue reading here.

Preeminent Weed DNA Expert: ‘We Fucking Hate Monsanto’

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Cannabis is big business, fueled in part by legalization across the country. And it’s a big business that has made small business owners who grow weed increasingly queasy, going so far as to oppose this past fall’s Prop 64 on the grounds that it would potentially wipe out the mom-and-pop dealers that have made pot their livelihood.

Today some industry leaders are doing what they can to keep that from happening. While Monsanto says that it is not working on a GMO marijuana strain there’s a reason a rumor that it was went viral — the marijuana industry is at a turning point to what direction it will grow.

By Sarah Sloat Continue Reading…