The Senate Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee discussed the difficulties between federal and state laws regarding marijuana and financial institutions. (TRT: 1:06) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Currently, the recreational marijuana industry in Washington state is cash only and major credit cards are not accepted forms of payment. Banks and credit lenders are caught in between federal and state laws regarding marijuana. Sen. Mark Mullet of Issaquah is the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee vice co-chair and participated in Thursday’s work session which discussed these issues.

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah: (TRT: 29 ) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD “We are glad there are a variety of banks and credit unions in the state who are going ahead to try to help the industry out, and that’s good for us because it’s more likely we’ll actually get tax revenue back from the industry if they can go through the regular banking channels. But, we don’t think the Feds are going to provide the kind of guidance, the overall banking network is looking for, so all we’re trying to do now is make sure the Liquor Control Board has very clear rules and mechanisms in place so the banks know that the people they’re dealing with are following the law.”

So far, in the five months that retail recreational marijuana stores have been open in Washington State, the industry has reported $40 million in revenue – $10 million of which has come back to the state in excise taxes.

Nicole Vukonich reporting in Olympia.