Marijuana Dispensaries Put Colorado Banks in a Bind

Colorado dispensaries have to pay sales tax bills in cash
Photo illustration by 731

Every month, Elliott Klug or one of his business partners walks into the Colorado Department of Revenue with a messenger bag holding thousands of dollars in cash and waits as state employees start counting. Klug, co-founder of PinkHouse Blooms, a chain of five medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver, has to pay his sales taxes in cash because federal law bars banks from offering accounts to pot shops, even though they’re legal in Colorado. “It highlights the awkward situation we’ve been placed in,” Klug says. “We are paying taxes, but despite our best efforts to be good citizens, we’re still paying in cash.”

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