California Treasurer John Chiang on Friday appealed to President-elect Donald Trump for guidance on how the state’s projected $7 billion marijuana industry can participate in the nation’s banking system while pot remains illegal under U.S. law.

California voters last month approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana, beginning in 2018. Largely at issue is how the state will collect an estimated $1 billion in annual taxes from legal pot sales and cultivation, when cannabis businesses can face obstacles opening bank accounts, getting loans or obtaining insurance.

The “conflict between federal and state rules creates a number of difficulties for states that have legalized cannabis use, including collecting taxes, increased risk of serious crime and the inability of a legal industry under state law to engage in banking and commerce,” Chiang wrote to Trump.

“We have a year to develop a system that works in California and which addresses the many issues that exist as a result of the federal-state legal conflict,” he added. “Uncertainty about the position of your administration creates even more of a challenge.”

The California vote on Nov. 8 represented the national legalization movement’s biggest victory to date. The new law will attempt, at least in theory, to tame a market that now ranges from legal, medicinal production and sales to vast illegal grows operated by drug cartels.

With pot illegal on the federal level, it’s unclear what stance the incoming Trump administration will take with the new California pot economy and other weed-friendly states. Trump’s pick for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, has called marijuana a danger that should not be legalized.

 

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