Wash. seeks bank changes for marijuana

This official logo from Washington state must be on all authorized marijuana products in the state. (May 17, 2013)
This official logo from Washington state must be on all authorized marijuana products in the state. (May 17, 2013)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The governors of Washington and Colorado are asking the federal government for changes in banking regulations to allow marijuana-related banking and the states continue implementing their voter-approved legal marijuana industries.

A letter was sent Wednesday from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to federal banking regulators.

They wrote that access to the banking system by soon-to-be state-licensed businesses “is a necessary component” to ensure a highly regulated system.

The letter was sent to Jacob Lew, Secretary of the Treasury; Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; Martin Gruenberg, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Debbie Matz, Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration.

On Sept. 10, a Justice Department official said the federal government will enable financial institutions to transact business with the legitimate marijuana industry without fear of prosecution.

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