Nevada is set to test a limited marijuana banking system after Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation June 5 to provide a payment alternative for the all-cash industry.
The bill establishes a three-year pilot program in which cannabis businesses can use an online system where digital currency can be sent and received, according to The Associated Press. But the system is limited in that it doesn't include certain banking services like loans.
State Treasurer Zach Conine, a proponent of the program, said the system is similar to digital wallet apps such as Venmo.
"We think it's an innovative solution to a real problem," Conine, who added that he hopes to have the system in full swing by July 2020, told the AP.
Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, most banks refuse to work with distilleries and other businesses in the cannabis industry. Without help from Washington, states are looking for innovative solutions to help the businesses, who are forced to hold onto large sums of cash. The businesses also have to pay vendors, employees and taxes in cash.