Washington Governor Asks to Change Marijuana Business Banking - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Governor Asks to Change Banking for Marijuana Businesses

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - The governors of Washington state and Colorado are asking the federal government to change banking regulations to allow for marijuana-related banking.

Governors Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper sent a letter to federal banking regulators on Wednesday, saying access to the banking system by soon-to-be state-licensed businesses "is a necessary component" to ensure a highly regulated system.

The Deputy Attorney General has previously acknowledged the issue addressed in the letter, that without changes at the federal level, legal pot stores will have to operate on a cash-only basis because the banks are afraid of violating federal law by accepting pot money.

The governors sent the letter 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.