Customers shop at the Grass Station dispensary in Denver. Because of federal banking regulations, Colorado's $700-million-a-year industry runs almost entirely on cash. Image: Brennan Linsley, Associated Press via Los Angeles Times

Calling itself the "littlest David" battling the "biggest Goliath," a fledgling Colorado credit union took the Federal Reserve to court Monday in a case that may determine whether the cannabis industry will bank openly or continue to operate almost entirely in cash.

Denver's Fourth Corner Credit Union is looking to be the first financial institution in the nation that caters openly to the cannabis industry. But the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which oversees the Denver district, has denied it a master account needed to do business.

"We are asking for a level playing field, but they own the team and they own the field," Mark Mason, an attorney for the credit union, told U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

"We are simply asking for the right to be born."

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David Kelley ~ Los Angeles Times ~

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