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Head Of National Cannabis Industry In Portland, Talks Banking

 The head of the National Cannabis Industry is in Portland to talk about federal changes he said are needed to fully implement Oregon’s recreational pot market.

Aaron Smith believes there is enough congressional support for changes to federal banking laws, which have prevented many marijuana businesses from accepting electronic transactions.

But he said some tax issues are likely to take more time.

“Regulated businesses can’t deduct things like payroll, rent, marketing expenses, that any other businesses can deduct,” Smith said. “It’s really hampering the ability of these businesses to grow, to give their employees pay increases and benefits.”

Smith said Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer is taking the lead on banking and other pot-related issues.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is working on new state rules for the recreational marijuana market.

Oregon is the third state in the nation to begin legal retail pot sales. When medical marijuana is included, 23 states have some form of legal sales.

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