Lawmakers and the Public are mixed with Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana Business FundingLuckily for the marijuana industry, the legalization is voted in by each state. 22 state currently have some form of legalization, and like any law, not all citizens are pro-marijuana. Lawmakers and citizens on both sides are teaming up, fighting for tougher regulations or more relaxed regulations. Throughout this process, the industry has been growing, providing state revenues that few other industries can touch. This leads to major problems for new and existing merchants, and the riskiness of this industry is far from changing.

While proponents have many reasons for why they oppose legalized marijuana, they seem to ignore the great things that the tax revenue can do for the communities. In Colorado, schools are being repaired and built by the tax revenue, taking a load off the state’s budget. Every state could use these extra funds, but lawmakers are as divided over the legalization as the public. One of the biggest issues for lawmakers is the fact that marijuana in any form is federally illegal. And since federal law typically trumps local and state law, they fear issues that may arise from their decisions. If Colorado has taught us anything, it is that the state and Feds can disagree, and coexist, and no one gets hurt in the process.

This coexisting could work if merchants can check processors saw the benefits of one another. Some legalized marijuana merchants are becoming “cash only” businesses, which not only cuts your customer base, but also leaves you open to robbery. Some choose PayPal, which is a risky choice because they are notorious for closing accounts without notice. This leaves you without a way to accept payments, and without a way to give refunds if needed. You need to look for an ACH check processing source to help better your chances of succeeding. ACH check processing helps you accept not only checks, but also debit and credit. This keeps your business safe, and it helps you get the funds in your business checking account fast. In addition, ACH check processing is one of the safest ways to process payments, leaving you and your customers secure during the process.

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The Police Have Spoken: Pot is the Least of Their Drug Worries

Cannabis leaf scattered on the dollars. Seamless imageWhile some in the media – and well-paid lobbyist – want to convince you that pot is evil, our police have a different take on the drug. The DEA released its annual survey of law enforcement officers from around the USA, and found that marijuana is the least of their drug worries. Literally, the least, as it came in last with only 6% of the surveyors saying that it was. While marijuana has never been at the top of the list, it was in the middle in the early to mid-2000s. While consumers have a relaxed view on pot, it’s interesting to see that it isn’t the biggest worry for police, and this could have an overwhelming effect on the government and its stance on the drug.

It should not be a surprise that heroin was named the most worrisome drug, with 38% of the vote, followed by meth with 33%. With its measly 6% of the vote, marijuana either is typically in the news for its legalization in states, or attempts to keep it illegal. Ohio just struck down a vote to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana, though most states who have offered the vote to its citizens have faced a different outcome. The tax revenue the drug brings in (it is currently taxed at 10% in Denver, Colorado) helps tremendously, as does marijuana tourism. Even so, it is still a federally-illegal drug. This complicates things for those who wish to travel outside a certain area with the drug, and those who wish to fly home with it are liable to be arrested. But this change in law enforcement’s eyes could lead to a change in the Fed’s way of looking at pot.

Coincidence or not, Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders from Vermont introduced legislation to decriminalize pot federally. This, plus the DEA’s survey findings, could lead to a change. However, the recent turn-down of legalized pot in Ohio may prove fatal, as elected officials are careful not to bite the hand that feeds when it comes to voting for things that their constituents are against. Regardless, legalized marijuana is expanding in various states every few months. In October, it was Oregon. In January, it will be Alaska. This leads to new and exciting business ventures. Marijuana merchants know that this is a very lucrative – but troublesome – industry. The main trouble comes from the banks that process payments, as they are controlled by the Feds. Merchants need to look for an ACH check processing source, like, that is experienced with legalized marijuana sales, to help keep their new business account operating smoothly.

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Washington State will Soon Welcome New Marijuana Dispensaries

Medical marijuana in large jarWashington State, mecca of grunge metal, Starbucks, and rainy weather, has opened up the application process for wannabe marijuana dispensaries. While Denver gets most of the talk when it comes to legalized recreational marijuana sales, Washington State brings in millions in revenue due to the grassy habit. In addition to accepting new applicants, the state has eased restrictions on the amount of room one can have to grow their plants. All of this is welcomed news, except that it will still be tough for new merchants to obtain a way to process checks.

As with all good things come something bad. With legalized marijuana sales, the “bad” happens to be the elusive ACH check processing ability. This is the easiest way to process payments, and most businesses rely on this to accept payments with ease. The lack of payment solutions can cause a business to become a “cash only” business, and this should be the absolute last resort for any business. A “cash only” business is dangerous, and one that is advertised as such brings an increased risk of robbery. And once the cash is stolen, there is little chance of recovering it.

Whether you are in Washington State or Alaska, which has yet to open its first legalized pot shop, one of the most important things you can do is find an ACH check processing source. It is imperative that you have a way to process payments. Yes, it is not easy to find a willing source, but it is one thing that can either help your business grow or topple. Since state and Federal law clashes on this area of business, it is nearly impossible to go into a bank to obtain any kind of business support, since the majority of banks are regulated by the Feds. Instead, look for industry guides and resources that can point you in the right direction. It is imperative that you accept plastic card payments, because without the ability you are at risk of losing out on business, as well as putting your business at risk.

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MMJ Delivery Service Companies Face New Tax Issues in California

ACH Marijuana Check ProcessingA new issue has recently come up for the California medical marijuana industry concerning delivery services. The dispensaries that use delivery services to transport cannabis to patients may face a new challenge on the tax front if they fail to use caution.

According to Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the state’s Board of Equalization, MMJ delivery fees are taxable in some cases. On the other hand, businesses could pay more in taxes than they owe if they do not realize that those particular delivery fees are not taxable. While the sales of cannabis are generally taxable under California law, delivery fees are not as long as certain conditions have been met.

For example, a dispensary must list the delivery fee separately on their invoice; this ensures that it can be independently verified. In addition, a third-party must be responsible for handling the delivery. The charge incurred cannot be more than what the dispensary actually paid the delivery service for the handling of that transaction.

If this is not documented and these conditions are not met, tax will apply to the seller’s entire delivery charge if it is made in connection with a taxable sale of cannabis products. In the event that this does occur – the fee exceeds the cost of the service to the dispensary – the difference between the price charged and the expense will be taxable.

Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairman Jerome E. Horton reveals that “As a seller of cannabis products, you must report your total sales on your sales and use tax return. If your total sales include nontaxable delivery charges, you should take a deduction for those amounts on the line for ‘Other’ deductions. If you don’t take the deduction, you’ll pay more tax than you owe”.

With investors warming to cannabis, many entrepreneurs are seeing dollar signs, and not just in the sale of cannabis itself. Eaze, a technology company that helps facilitate medical marijuana deliveries to patients, has raised $10 million in venture capital funding. This funding will allow the company to expand geographically while also improving its customer service.

Patients simply use their medical marijuana cards on the company’s websites, enter the strain, and the amount they wish to purchase. Eaze then contacts a dispensary, an independent driver is dispatched to deliver the marijuana and the delivery is made in 15 minutes or less. All of this occurs without Eaze ever physically coming into contact with the marijuana.

The creators of Eaze are not the only ones who have seen the possibilities in these types of services. Many entrepreneurs and investors are seeing the possibilities, but run into problems when trying to secure payment processing. Traditional banks are turning the medical cannabis industry away. And it goes without saying that cash is not a safe option.

Medical marijuana payment processing allows both retail and delivery dispensaries payment processing solutions. Patients will be able to pay with their credit card, debit card or savings account. With questions over regulations and taxes still popping up, medical marijuana payment processing offers a safe option for processing needs.

Contact us for ACH Check Processing solutions for your MMJ business.