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Business of Marijuana

Matthew Huron, owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries and an edible marijuana company in Denver, examining a marijuana plant in his grow house. Medical marijuana is legal in 17 states, but the industry has a decidedly black-market aspect _ it's mostly cash-only. That's because banks won't touch pot money. The drug is illegal under federal law, and processing transactions or investments with pot money puts federally insured banks at risk of drug-racketeering charges. In Colorado, state lawmakers are attempting an end-run around the federal ban by creating a cooperative financial institution for state dispensaries and growers to allow them to store and borrow money.

The Business of Marijuana

Currently there are 18 states in the U.S. that allow for the cultivation and distribution of medicinal marijuana to approved patients with prescriptions from their doctors. On Nov. 6, Colorado and Washington passed measures to extend the legislation to permit recreational use of marijuana.