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Marijuana business owners consider alternative banking options

Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
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Updated: 5/13/2014 8:08 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Entrepreneurs hoping to open medical marijuana businesses in Clark County are scrambling for new ways to secure their cash.

Some are turning to private vaults to protect their money.

Medical marijuana is a cash cow for states that have made it legal, but the drug is still illegal under federal law.

Once these all-cash operations open in Clark County, business owners do not know where they will put all that money.

One business is already taking calls from those looking for a private place to keep their money secure is a safety deposit box storage facility.

Vegas Vaults is a business in Summerlin that uses security technology to keep clients' property safe.

William Bayne, the owner of Vegas Vaults, says those looking to cash in on Clark County’s cannabis industry know most banks won’t take their medical marijuana money.

"People are looking to store cash. The problem is we run into with cash is most these boxes are too small," Bayne said.

Bayne said one box will hold just about a $1 million dollars in cash.

Medical marijuana businesses find themselves in situations other businesses don’t deal with such as paying their taxes with wads of cash.

"It’s very difficult dealing with cash," said Shy Sadis, a medical marijuana business applicant who owns the Joint Cooperative, a group of a five dispensaries in Washington.

"There’s ways around it, trying to get it in the banks, but you’ll probably eventually be shut down," Sadis said. "Banking will legitimize the industry that we're in."



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