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Federal government issues guidelines to banks about legalized marijuana businesses

The federal government issued guidelines Friday to help the banking industry deal with marijuana businesses open in Colorado and soon to open in Washington.

Check out the USA Today story here: http://www.usatoday.com.

The city of Kent has a temporary ban on any marijuana businesses operating in the city.

Here is a statement issued Friday by U.S. Attorneys Jenny A. Durkan and Michael Ormsby:

“Cash businesses such as marijuana distribution can be a magnet for criminal violence. Today's guidance seeks to mitigate the public safety concerns created by high volume cash based businesses without access to the banking and financial systems. The guidance also seeks to prevent criminal organizations from laundering their criminal proceeds beyond the reach of law enforcement.

"The guidance reaffirms the expectation that states that have enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct will implement clear, strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems. That obligation remains. This new guidance also makes it clear that banks have an obligation to continue to report and not offer services to businesses that operate outside such strong regulatory and enforcement regimes.”

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