- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

DENVER (AP) - This week’s Bill To Watch in the Colorado Legislature

THE BILL:

House Bill 1398, to allow marijuana businesses to form financial co-operatives for banking services.

WHAT IT DOES:

The bill aims to give the pot industry access to basic banking services in light of recent federal guidelines that have made banks hesitant to accept marijuana proceeds. The plan would take effect only if the U.S. Federal Reserve agrees to allow the co-ops to access merchant services, an uncertain proposition.

WHO WANTS IT?

Democrats dropped the bill last week and have it moving on the fast track to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who backs the idea.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

The plan wouldn’t cost much, according to legislative economists who predicted the co-ops would pay fees to cover the cost of regulating them.

WHERE IT STANDS:

The House has approved the bill on a party-line vote of 37-28. The measure awaits a vote in the Senate.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:

“The best way to keep a drug or an industry in the black market s to make sure it’s a cash business.” - Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont

READ THE BILL AND FOLLOW IT:

http://bit.ly/1ii90pU