LANSING – Legislation introduced in the Michigan House on Thursday would create a state-run bank, which could help those in the medical marijuana business deal with their profits and more efficiently pay the state its taxes.

As new medical marijuana regulations unfold, the drug is still illegal on the federal level, meaning businesses cannot put their money in financial institutions, which are federally regulated. The new law requires medical marijuana businesses to pay sales tax and an excise tax. The Department of Treasury has said it is prepared to take cash and it is expecting large volumes of money.

“Before I got to Lansing, the people of Michigan voted to allow the use of medical marijuana. But what has the state done to provide for the revenue which they knew was going to be generated?” Rep. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) said in a statement. “The people have voted for medical marijuana. The medical marijuana industry has brought funds in. The industry must report it on their income tax. Until the federal government does something, we need to get this money infused back into the state – not stuffed in coffee cans or hidden under the mattress.”

Lucido sponsored HJR CC, which would exclude deposits into the state-owned bank from the constitutional limitation on deposits of state money in financial institutions. HB 5431HB 5432HB 5433 and HB 5434 would create the bank and make other regulations. The bills were introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), Rep Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights).

This story was published by Gongwer News Service