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Recreational marijuana use and sales were legalized in Washington state in 2012.

Credit unions were formed to serve the underserved. So when members told the $195 million O Bee Credit Union they were entering the recreational marijuana business, the Olympia, Wash., credit union originally chartered in 1955 to serve workers at Olympia Brewing Co. knew they were ready to move on to harder stuff.

For those members, it wasn’t just a matter of passing the pipe. They formed the vanguard of a newly legalized recreational marijuana industry. They needed support from a financial institution to grow businesses designed to serve this emerging market segment, Roberts said.

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