A bill passed the California senate yesterday that would open the doors for the world's first cannabis bank. The bill would set up a state charter bank that would deal exclusively with the marijuana industry. The bank's operations would be limited to mostly allow cannabis companies to make deposits for paying taxes and paying vendors or landlords. But that's still more than most banks allow marijuana companies.
This doesn't mean the bank is on its way though. The bill still needs to pass the California Assembly and would also need a signature from the state's governor. However, the bill passed the senate with almost no opposition, so it's unlikely it will experience it in the Assembly. But it still needs to go through various committees, so the actual bank that is created could look slightly different from the one outlined in the senate bill.
While the federal government doesn't outright ban banks from working with cannabis companies, they do strongly advise against it and say they can't guarantee that dealing with them will not result in consequences. As a result, most banks refuse to work with marijuana companies out of fear of retribution, which is probably even greater considering who runs the Department of Justice right now.
So once again California will be at the forefront of America's marijuana revolution.