Los Angeles might create a bank for the cannabis industry

Los Angeles city leaders are looking into the possibility of setting up a public bank that would do business with marijuana dispensaries, as well as cater to affordable housing developers.

Council President Herb Wesson proposed the idea in a speech at City Hall, laying out his agenda for the next two years. He said a municipal bank would be able to focus on providing financing to small businesses and developers of affordable housing.

The announcement comes as Oakland is also considering opening its own bank.

“Imagine, if this is possible, to have a bank, where its vision statement is to finance the building of affordable housing,” he told his colleagues on the City Council. “Imagine if we have a bank that is focused on working with small business entrepreneurs to give them loans.”

But while Wesson pointed to the various reasons a municipal bank would be a good idea, it also comes at a key moment for California’s cannabis industry, which will become legal for recreational…

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