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Banks are open for the business of marijuana

House passes amendment that would allow banks to provide financial services to businesses selling marijuana.
A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS/Anthony Bolante)
A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo.

Now entrepreneurs looking to kick start a business in marijuana can take it to the bank.

The House of Representatives passed an amendment for a spending bill that would allow financial institutions to provide services to businesses selling marijuana without penalty.  The amendment, introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) passed with a majority of Democratic votes, 231-192.  An additional forty-five Republicans joined the 186 Democrats in support of the measure.

According to the House Appropriations Committee, the bill prohibits funds to be used when it comes to punishing banks for providing loans to businesses selling marijuana.  The measure, of course, applies only in states where the drug has been legalized.  

The full amendment can be seen here.