Legalizing recreational pot may have spurred economic activity in first four U.S. states to do so

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Rather, we believe our findings suggest legalization may have spurred more economic activity generally. This isn’t to suggest that banks illicitly benefited from the burgeoning pot business by taking deposits from cannabis companies or giving them loans. What is unknown from our study is whether the effect we documented is true for banks in states that legalized more recently. What still isn’t known For lack of data, our study limited its analysis to the first four states that legalized. Using data from regulatory filings, we compared the deposits and loans of banks in the first four legalizing states – Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – with those in every other state.

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Banking activity in the first four U.S. states to make recreational marijuana legal grew significantly more than in other parts of the country despite federal laws that prohibit financial companies from any involvement with cannabis, according to our new study.

This isn’t to suggest that banks illicitly benefited from...

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