Commercial marijuana is spreading as states throughout the country adopt more permissive marijuana policies. This trend started on the West Coast with California, Oregon, Washington and Alaskaand moved east to Colorado. Currently, a total of 25 states allow some form of legal marijuana. Though Ohio just defeated a controversial initiative that had opposition within the marijuana community, Montana andNevada will have expanded marijuana access on the ballot in 2016.
Yet banks face a growing discrepancy in serving marijuana businesses. Some bank regulators are trying to cut off access to the payment system for banks that have marijuana businesses as customers, while others are allowing it. That means bank regulators affect whether marijuana can be a viable commercial business.