That whole "legal pot" thing in Colorado and Washington's taking on some interesting dimensions: banks are politely declining to do business with growers and retailers, evidently fearful of regulatory consequences. This means that they're cash-only operations. And that's almost certain to garner attention:
Cartels, especially the Juarez and Sinaloa, who have a strong presence in Colorado, could not have been happy with the estimated $1 million in sales Jan. 1, the first day of legalized retail sales. In 2012 the Mexican Competitiveness Institute issued a report saying that Mexico’s cartels would lose as much as $1.425 billion if Colorado legalized marijuana. The organization also predicted that drug trafficking revenues would fall 20 to 30 percent, and the Sinaloa cartel, which would be the most affected, would lose up to 50 percent.
Well, in addition to pushing drugs, these cartel boys do a pretty brisk business in extortion. Occasionally, they have to chop off someone's head to ensure that everyone's on the same page, but that's just an unfortunate cost of business; sacrifices must sometimes be made.
Ideally, the owners of retail establishments will provide, in addition to killer weed, killer health care and life insurance policies for their employees. They'll likely need one or the other.