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Colorado lawmakers want pot industry bank option

<> on April 18, 2010 in Daly City, California. Photo: Image by Getty Images

Colorado lawmakers want pot industry bank option

By The Associated Press. Kristen Wyatt. CREATED May 1, 2014

DENVER (AP) -- A Colorado plan to set up the world's first financial system for marijuana has cleared its first hurdle in the state Legislature, despite deep reservations from supporters that the plan will work.

The bill approved by a House committee Thursday is prompted by frustration with recent marijuana banking guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The measure would allow state-licensed marijuana businesses to create a financial co-op, sort of an uninsured credit union. The U.S. Federal Reserve would still have to grant permission for the co-ops to provide banking services like checking and credit.

Sponsors concede the plan is a long shot. But they say Colorado must try every option to move the pot industry away from its cash-only roots.