(WKBN) – With pending legislation that could make marijuana legal in Ohio, business owners in the industry face some unique challenges when it comes to what to do with all their money.

While marijuana is legal in 37 states, including Guam and Puerto Rico, it is illegal federally and therefore proceeds are not protected in the U.S. banking system.

Basically, money that can be traced back to state marijuana operations could be considered money laundering and expose banks to legal and operational risks, according to the American Bankers Association (ABA).

The ABA says that as more states legalize marijuana, Congress and regulatory agencies need to provide legal clarity to banks on how to serve those business customers.

According to the Associated Press, a surge in crimes targeting the cash-heavy stores, especially in Washington State, has renewed a push for the federal banking system to make reforms that would allow pot stores access to financial services.

And it’s not only banks, credit card companies are also reluctant to work with marijuana business owners because of the fear of federal laws.

The American Bar Association calls the situation “legal limbo” and that marijuana business owners are forced to deal with a vast amount of cash, which increases their risk of robbery and other violent crimes.

A bipartisan bill is in Congress called the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act that could help the situation and lead to broader reform, according to industry publication Marijuana Moment.

The SAFE Banking Act would prohibit a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business and proceeds of legitimate transactions would not be considered proceeds from unlawful activity, according to the proposed legislation.

The bill has passed the House and awaiting Senate approval.