Montana Talks guest host Rep. Daniel Zolnikov had a fascinating conversation with Kate Cholewa about the booming medical and recreational marijuana industry and the business realities that need legislation and regulation.

One bill in the process is the Secure and Fair Enforcement (S.A.F.E.) Banking Act, which would provide protections for banks that do business with marijuana retailers. Pot is still illegal on a federal level, so banks are leery of getting into serious trouble for money laundering. Of course, politicians are trying to attach a social equity component to the SAFE legislation, to which Kate asked, “How do you regulate equity into an industry not regulated?”

Following the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, States have been driving the trend in medical and recreational marijuana, and while the recent history had some bumps along the way, States have set some tight regulation.

Amazingly, high profile people have gotten involved in the business. Judge Jeanine Pirro, the hardest hitting commentator on the Fox News Channel, is now on the board of directors for Heavenly Rx, focused on CBD and hemp products. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner is a shareholder and on the board of Acreage Holdings, which is about to be bought by the largest cannabis company in the world, contingent on national legalization.

Seed-to-sale transparency and licensing will become the standard along with other industries, to see the layers of ownership, A Company owned by B Corporation which is owned by C Conglomerate and so forth.  But growth will require it, as Kate reported that the jobs in the industry have quadrupled in the last three years.

Daniel was right: love it or hate it, Capitalism is working its magic.

You can listen to the full conversation below: 

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