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California bill to create banks for marijuana money stalls

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SACRAMENTO — A bill to let California create special banks to handle cash from the fledgling recreational marijuana industry will not pass this year.

California is the nation's largest legal marijuana market. But marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and banks have been unwilling to accept deposits from licensed pot businesses.

California Democratic state Sen. Bob Hertzberg authored a bill this year that would have let the state charter special banks to handle money from state-licensed marijuana businesses. Hertzberg announced Monday the bill would not get a vote this year. He said if California is going to do this, "we have to do it right."

Hertzberg said he will work with Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Treasurer Fiona Ma to pass the bill next year.

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