By Evan Halper
July 16, 2014
When it comes to liberalizing marijuana policy, Congress has once again shown that it is not always the liberals taking the lead.
The GOP-dominated House on Wednesday delighted cannabis advocates by voting to prohibit law enforcement from going after banks for doing business with state-licensed marijuana growers and sellers.
The measure would be a boon to the marijuana business. Currently, banks fear taking on dispensaries and related companies as clients out of concern that the relationship puts them at risk of being a target for federal drug and treasury agents.
The banks had found little solace in recent assurances by the Obama administration that it had no plans to prosecute them for such relationships. Almost all continue to see too big a risk in getting involved with the rapidly growing pot sector.
That has left dispensaries and other marijuana businesses in a dangerous predicament, forced to keep massive amounts of cash on hand and hire private security firms to cart it off site.
In June, Denver police alerted local pot businesses that they had become aware that a group of criminals was conspiring to target the cash-rich companies throughout the metropolitan area.
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