With marijuana retailers scheduled to open in June, prospective business owners are worried the state industry could be plagued with violent crime, reports The Oregonian.
The banking question is the largest of several uncertainties swirling around implementation of Initiative 502, which passed in 2012 and legalized recreational marijuana in Washington state. Financial institutions are not ready to accept revenue from the sale of a federally illegal drug, meaning legal marijuana businesses in Washington could be left dealing with the difficulties and dangers of a largely cash-run system.
"We've got this entire marketplace that we're building from nothing," said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle. "A billion dollar marketplace out there, and it all has to deal in cash because it's totally un-bankable. That's just a magnet for armed robbery, murder and organized crime."