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Stateside: Banking for marijuana industry; sorting invasive and native fish; tax foreclosure lawsuit

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Marijuana's federally illegal status means most banks are unwilling to work with cannabis businesses, leaving many to operate entirely in cash.

Today on Stateside, a lack of legal banking options in the marijuana industry means that many businesses are operating solely in cash—creating significant safety risks and limiting the industry's growth. Plus, a Michigan Supreme Court case is testing how much money the government can collect from tax-delinquent homeowners. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

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Traverse City will be first in the world to sort fish for passage upriver

A story from Interlochen Public Radio’s Kaye LaFond

  • A new type of barrier being tested on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City could help reconnect rivers and the fish in them while also keeping out invasive species. Interlochen Public Radio’s Kaye LaFond explored the impact this new type of dam might have on the ecosystem's health. 
  • This story aired on Points North, a weekly show and podcast from Interlochen Public Radio.

Detroit City Council punts on recreational marijuana regulation

Stateside’s conversation with Larry Gabriel

  • The city of Detroit on Tuesday punted on the issue of allowing and regulating recreational marijuana. This pushes the deadline out until March. Larry Gabriel, author of the "Higher Ground" columns for Detroit Metro Times, and writer for the monthly Michigan Cannabis Industries Report spoke to Stateside about how “not in my back yard” ordinances are affecting the city.

Without a legal banking option, marijuana businesses face safety risks and other challenges

Stateside’s conversation with Patricia Herndon, Brian Calley, Lisa Conin

  • Michigan's era of legal cannabis sales is in full swing, with more than $10 million in sales in just the first few weeks. Most of that money, though, never goes to a bank. Cannabis businesses are legal in Michigan, but the classification of marijuana as an illegal drug at the federal level makes banks wary of handling their money.
  • We talked to Lisa Conine, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Om of Medicine dispensary about how her company handles business without a bank and the risks it poses. We also talked about how this issue impacts banks themselves, as well as small businesses that work with cannabis vendors. For that discussion, we were joined by Patricia Herndon, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at the Michigan Bankers Association, and Brian Calley, former Lieutenant Governor of Michigan who is now with Small Business Association of Michigan. 

Should counties be allowed to profit from tax foreclosures? State Supreme Court will decide. 

Stateside’s conversation with Sarah Cwiek and Michele Oberholtzer

  • A case before the Michigan Supreme Court is testing how much the government can take from a homeowner who fails to pay property taxes. Michigan Radio reporter Sarah Cwiek, has been covering this issue and joined us to discuss the case. We also talked to Michele Oberholtzer, director of tax foreclosure prevention at the United Community Housing Coalition, about the potential impact the lawsuit could have on homeowners.

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