Congressman: allow legal pot shops to use banks

Washington Congressman Denny Heck held a forum in Olympia Thursday to talk about a bill that would allow legal pot shops to use banks and credit unions. U.S. Reps. Denny Heck (WA) and Ed Perlmutter (CO)  co-sponsored The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, allowing marijuana businesses to use banks as long as they comply with state laws.

Federal banking laws prevent many legal, regulated pot businesses from opening bank accounts. Instead, they're forced to operate as cash-only enterprises- a policy that some say increases the risk for crime.

"Forcing legitimate businesses to operate on a cash-only basis without bank accounts is an invitation for robbery, tax evasion and organized crime," Heck said in a news release. "With twenty-one states and D.C. now allowing for some form of legal adult marijuana usage, federal law needs to be updated to reflect the reality of the situation in the states."

Read more about Heck's banking proposal here.