Colorado's power move to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes raked in over $5 million during the first week of sales, yet banks are still frowning upon the money. To them, drug money is still drug money.
Many institutions won't create accounts for marijuana businesses because even though weed is legal in the state, they're still unsure if banking regulations will permit it. The New York Times adds that marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a classification reserved for the most dangerous drugs. The last thing banks want is to get spanked by the feds, especially over weed.
This has prompted the state to reach out to the Treasury and Justice Departments because businesses have been forced to pay employees in straight cash and carry "Chipotle and Nordstrom bags" filled with "thousands of dollars in $10 and $20 bills to supermarkets to buy money orders." That simply isn't safe.
Legitimate businesses are living in fear of being robbed of their product like dealers lived in fear of Omar Little on The Wire. Whether people are ready to accept it or not, the marijuana industry has to be treated as just that—an industry.