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Whitmer asks for national marijuana banking rule

Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana, after voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday. Here, a clerk reaches for a container of marijuana buds at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit.
Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana, after voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday. Here, a clerk reaches for a container of marijuana buds at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit.

Many cannabis businesses currently struggle to get credit from banks.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and 22 other state and territorial governors sent a letter on Wednesday asking Congress to adopt a law that would help recently legalized marijuana businesses.

The letter to congressional leaders says marijuana businesses are struggling to get credit. They’re mostly cash businesses, which can make them a target for criminals. That also makes it hard for regulators to track transactions to make sure they’re handled legally and that taxes are paid.

Andrew Brisbo is the executive director of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency. He says marijuana is a federal controlled substance so only Congress can solve the problems.

“I think it’s going to make it easier all the way around from consumers to business operators to regulatory organizations, as well.”

The letter says marijuana has become too big an industry to be barred from banking services.

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