Source:  Benzinga, CannabisFn May 13 2014

Colorado Legislators Approve Of New Marijuana Banking System

Colorado legislators have approved of a system of uninsured credit co-ops that would, for the first time, be available to provide financial services for canna-businesses. Even though the Fed announced guidance for the banks in February, financial institutions have stayed away from cannabis orientated businesses. To find out details on the new system, click here.

Marijuana Tax Revenue Is Getting Higher

Colorado tax revenue from marijuana sales has seen a steady increase since the retail industry emerged this January. February saw a 16 percent bump over January in total revenue from Marijuana (taxes, licenses and fees). March saw an even bigger month-over-month rise in revenue, up 21.7 percent over February (41 percent over January), totaling $4,980,992.

The distribution of tax revenue is primarily routed to public schools, but law enforcement and drug awareness efforts will be funded, as well.

Since recreational sales began, Denver has seen a slight decline in crime, and the canna-business job market is expanding quickly.

Related: Marijuana Is Moving In: A Real Estate Company Is Tailoring Properties For Growers

GOP Congressman ‘Rolls Up’ At A House Oversight Hearing

Rep. John Mica brought a fake joint to a House oversight hearing Friday to beg the question of D.C.’s decriminalization. Mica had staff roll the joint, because “they have more experience” with that type of thing.

Decriminalization in the District allows citizens to possess up to 20 joints, and Mica believes that Congress has the right to review the laws passed in D.C. because it is a federal territory.  David A. O’Neil, acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, assured Mica that “The administration will treat D.C. in the same manner as every other jurisdiction with respect to the enforcement of federal marijuana laws. [We] will continue to enforce drug offenses under the D.C. code.”

Marijuana Goes Mobile

Success-story entrepreneur Garyn Angel has opened a food truck in Denver that will sell marijuana edibles. A modified 40-foot school bus will be home to SAMICH (Savory Accessible Marijuana Infused Culinary Happiness), which debuted its food on April 20.

Obama Administration Ordered 1,430 Pounds Of Weed

The federal government has put in an order to the University of Mississippi for 1,430 pounds of marijuana last week. This order is far larger than the original DEA restriction of 21 kilograms (46.2 pounds) would allow, so the quota has been reset to 650 kilograms. The pot will be used to conduct research on medical marijuana.

Federal Lawsuit Says States Cannot Collect Marijuana Tax Revenue

A Seattle-based lawyer has filed a federal lawsuit that challenges the state’s right to collect tax revenue from marijuana sales.

Long-time marijuana activist and public defender Douglas Hiatt is representing dispensary owner Martin Nickerson, claiming that forcing his client to pay more than $62,000 in taxes would violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination. Hiatt believes that his case could halt the collection of ‘marijuana taxes,’ but Alison Holcomb, the author of Washington’s recreational marijuana law, disagrees.

Holcomb pointed out to the Associated Press that the since the state is simply applying a general sales tax to marijuana-related transactions, it is completely legal. The Supreme Court has maintained the opinion that the legality of property does not play a role in its taxability. Hiatt believes that the court’s opinion is contrary to the Controlled Substances Act, and dismisses Holcomb’s claims regarding the general sales tax.

Along with current tax struggles, Nickerson is also being prosecuted criminally for marijuana distribution and is being investigated by the Department of Revenue for not collecting and remitting taxes on the pot he was allegedly distributing.

To learn more about the marijuana industry, check out the 420 Investor and the Benzinga Marijuana Index.

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