California Might Have To Use Armored Cars To Transport Cannabis Money
California is gearing up to become recreationally legal on January 1 and there's been a lot of debate on how best to get the state ready to move into the new phase. Several roadblocks have been raised, one of which is the issue of how to handle all the cannabis money the state is set to cash in on.
California is expected to acquire millions of dollars in tax payments if states like Colorado are anything to go by. However, with cannabis remaining illegal on a federal level, the majority of banks want nothing to do with cannabis money for fear of facing prosecution. The result? Cannabis businesses are forced to deal exclusively in cash.
But moving around large sums of cash is difficult, not to mention potentially dangerous. There have been various cases of dispensaries being made targets for the easily accessible cash armed robbers know they have to keep on site.
The problem hasn't been ignored by the state. California's state treasurer has one possible solution for the issue at hand. It's not subtle either. Treasurer John Chiang believes armored cars could be the solution to keeping cannabis money and those who deal with it safe.
“It is unfair and a public safety risk to require a legal industry to haul duffel bags of cash to pay taxes, employees and utility bills,” Chiang said. “[The] reliance on cash paints a target on the back of cannabis operators and makes them and the general public vulnerable to violence and organized crime.”
Chiang did mention that the best case scenario would see the federal government legalize marijuana, resulting in banks having nothing to worry about and businesses being able to process cannabis money normally. However, we all know that may be a little far-fetched. That's not to say it won't happen. A majority of Republicans are now in favor of cannabis legalization so perhaps it's not as far away as we once thought.
Nevertheless, with impending legalization, it seems armored cars are the only viable only viable option for now.
It is worth mentioning that earlier this year, in the face of a similar issue, Hawaii decided to go cashless using an app as opposed to traditional banks. Perhaps with time, this might be an option for California too.
For the time being though, don't be surprised if you seem more armored cars on a street near you.
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