The limits on banking by marijuana businesses gives a whole new meaning to the term "cash crop." Pictured: Jared Stanley loads racks of cannabis during an October 2014 harvest near Wray, in eastern Colorado. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Cannabis businesses flood Oregon towns with cold hard cash

After years of moving away from cash, financial institutions have seen a recent influx due to the marijuana industry

MEDFORD, Ore. — As legalized marijuana brings more business to Oregon, some communities are seeing a large amount of cash in the economy thanks to strict regulations keeping banks away from the businesses.

The Mail Tribune reports that banking officials say that after years of moving away from cash, financial institutions have seen a recent influx due to the marijuana industry.

Many banks will not offer lines of credit to marijuana businesses due to high federal penalties for holding pot-tainted money. As a result, the marijuana industry operates with cash. Dispensaries pay their employees, landlords and lawyers with cash that is then spent in grocery stores and other daily tasks.

People’s Bank Vice President and Operations Manager Dawn DeVita says the Southern Oregon-based institution does not work directly with marijuana businesses, but it has seen an increased volume of cash circulation.

Information from: Mail Tribune