A public bank for California pot money? Maybe.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California officials will take a detailed look at the potential to create a taxpayer-backed bank to handle what could be billions of dollars generated by the state's legal marijuana industry.

State Treasurer John Chiang stopped short of endorsing the idea but said his office would work with the state attorney general to examine how a weed bank might function.

Legal pot sales kicked off in California on Jan. 1. However, many banks don't want anything to do with pot money for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government, which still lists marijuana as illegal.

That means a lot of pot business is conducted in cash, which is risky for cannabis workers and the public.

Completing the study is expected to take about a year.

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