Marijuana in the US is a controversial commodity. It remains a Schedule I substance at the federal level implying that it is not legal to produce, distribute, or possess it. Yet, at the same time, the Obama administration has shown considerable evidence pointing to their will to allow the freedom of individual states to make their determinations on sales of marijuana.
The government through its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has even encouraged banks to extend merchant services to traders of marijuana. Federal agents are forbidden from carrying out any raids on state-approved dispensaries of medical marijuana.
Marijuana is legal in nearly half of the states of the US, with four of them having flat-out legalized use of recreational marijuana. Yet the transactions on this product still take place almost entirely in cash. This method of operation is a major headache for the marijuana dispensaries.
The risk is increased for merchants and customers alike. Customers have to carry around large volumes of cash to the merchant’s location. And merchants have been forced to invest in bank-grade safes, security structures, and other anti-theft actions.
This reliance on cash for all of a business transactions has another burden to it. It increases operational costs for marijuana merchants. Even worse, it keeps reinforcing the perception that the business is not legitimate.
Blind to available card payment opportunities
This line of action is casting a blind eye to the currently available card payment opportunities. In the US, two of the main card networks have abided by the directive given by the government and have relaxed their policies.
Visa has confirmed that even though it intends to keep ensuring that its network is used per the federal regulation, it will extend its services to marijuana merchants. MasterCard too has toed the line.
The two card networks will allow the banks to make their individual decisions pertaining to the legality of marijuana merchants.
These, however, are not the only payment opportunities available to the marijuana dispensaries. MMA currently offers marijuana merchant account services without any legal restrictions.
These alternative payment processing opportunities come as a great relief to the marijuana industry since big banks have remained guarded in their move towards embracing a free marijuana economy.
Now it remains upon the marijuana merchants to take advantage of these available opportunities and free themselves of the risks associated with cash dealings in marijuana business.
For marijuana merchant account solutions contact MMA today!