Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday said he is likely to sign a bill that creates the world’s first cannabis co-op — a marijuana business banking cooperative. Even if “there’s only a one-in-three” chance of overcoming federal hurdles to giving the legal marijuana industry access to banking, he said, “it would be worth all the effort and time” to have tried.
House Bill 1398 establishes the credit-union-like co-op — up to 10 are authorized — but first requires approval by the Federal Reserve System. “It’s not a final solution,” he said, “but it gives us a greater chance that we may be able to do something.”
The bill also allows industrial-hemp farmers to join the co-ops, a move that caused banking lobbies to say they’ll probably press for a veto. “The array of veto requests,” Hickenlooper said, “is almost like stars in the sky.”