CA State officials worry legalizing recreational marijuana will criminalize businesses, governments

The comments came as part of an informational hearing called by members of the state Board of Equalization to figure out how to give banking services to the marijuana business so operators can pay taxes. Attendees included state officials, marijuana retailers and representatives of financial institutions.

The hearing was called by BOE board members George Runner and Fiona Ma, who told the Business Journal on Thursday that she hoped the state of California could establish a public depository to offer limited banking services to the pot industry. At the meeting, Runner said that he hadn't received any indication from the federal government whether such a depository would be lawful. Also this month, BOE chairman Jerome Horton said he was seeking a law to provide amnesty to pot businesses that wanted to begin paying taxes.

Medical and recreational marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the nation,...

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