Los Angeles on the Move Toward Public Banking

The city of Los Angeles has instructed its City Administrator and City Legal Analyst to “report back quickly” on the feasibility of a public bank to be known as the “Bank of Los Angeles,” as well as to sponsor resolutions moving public banking forward on the state level.

The recommendation to move forward comes from City Council President Herb Wesson, who is very interested in solving the cannabis banking issues (though cannabis is not mentioned in the official resolution).

… a municipal bank could help finance affordable housing, provide loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and give the marijuana industry a safe place to park its cash. Cannabis businesses have been shut out of many banks and rely heavily on cash transactions.

“Do you know, we’ve got people that are going to go home tonight and sleep on a mattress that’s worth $2 million?” Wesson said, alluding to marijuana entrepreneurs stashing cash at home. “We have to figure out a way to make this industry work. We in government are supposed to push the envelope, not protect the status quo.”

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