California Treasurer John Chiang wants the state to consider creating a government-owned bank that could serve cannabis businesses, one of several recommendations aimed at helping bring those businesses into the financial mainstream.
The recommendations, the product of a year of meetings of a cannabis working group organized by Chiang’s office, suggest there may be ways for California to help cannabis businesses pay their taxes and open bank accounts. But they also illustrate that the relationship between banks and marijuana companies will remain tenuous unless federal laws are changed.
Indeed, along with looking into the creation of a public bank, another of the recommendations from Chiang’s group is to form a multistate group to lobby Congress to ease federal restrictions on cannabis.
“A definitive, bulletproof solution will remain elusive” without federal deregulation, Chiang said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the recommendations. “That is not an excuse for inaction.”