Excerpt from The Seattle Times (April 29, 2012):

The booming medical-marijuana industry in Washington is struggling to gain business legitimacy. Already on shaky legal footing because of the conflict between state and federal law, dispensaries are bogged down by troubles with banking and federal taxes. …

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That’s in part because federal authorities have warned banks that handling receipts from marijuana sales remains illegal under federal law and could violate money-laundering laws.

The conflict is not isolated to Washington, one of 16 states — plus the District of Columbia — to allow therapeutic use of marijuana for certain patients. …

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Advocacy groups are lobbying Congress for changes to banking law and the IRS code that acknowledge the legitimacy of an industry estimated at $1.7 billion.