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Banking Woes Easing For Some of Oregon’s Legal Marijuana Businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) In a once-empty office in Oregon’s Department of Revenue headquarters, officials have created a mini-fortress.

Recently hired workers sit behind bulletproof glass at a window inaccessible to the public. Police officers brought out of retirement roam the building with handguns on their hips. Security cameras monitor the hallways.

The changes, paid for with a $3.5 million budget and prompted by the state’s newly legal marijuana industry, are similar to those that Colorado and Washington made for accepting huge cash payments of pot taxes from businesses historically blocked from banking.

Such security arrangements are a necessity for safety reasons, but new statistics suggest that could be starting to change.

Federal data show that the number of banks and credit unions across the country willing to handle pot money under Treasury Department guidelines issued two years ago has jumped from 51 in March 2014 to 301 last month. [Read more at KOMONews.com]

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