Marijuana Cigarette Startups – It Is Now a Reality!

medicinal marijuana merchant account servicesPot shops are still taboo in many places in the ‘States, so just think about the reception of marijuana cigarette companies. Yeah… for some it’s not good. For others, it’s great! Waling in, buying the pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes that are all ready to smoke is a dream for some – and it’s now a reality, thanks to MCIG Rollies. Can you do the same thing? Sure. As long as you have the right support team in place.

I don’t mean a good set of friends or your mama. I mean the right business support team: Staff, harvesters (if you don’t harvest yourself), and a startup marijuana business funding source. The latter may sound like a bank loan, but a bank loan it is not. In fact, the bank is the worst place you can go to ask for business funding for a legalized marijuana business. Since marijuana is still a federally illegal drug, and the banks are overseen by the Feds, your answer for a loan request is going to be a big, fat “No”.

Instead, look for a marijuana merchant funding provider, such as MMA. With merchant funding, you can get the funds that you need without the hassle of providing collateral, providing a lot of paperwork – and perhaps worst of all: the high bank loan interest fees. We hate that, right? Well, without this, you are left with the funds that you need, and an easy way to pay the funds back. With business funding, you pay back a small amount at a time, and only when you process a credit card payment. It’s as simple as that! If you go a day or two without a credit card payment, you do not pay. If you have a day where you process 30 credit card payments, you pay a small amount each time. You don’t lose money, and you pay back the funds in a timely manner.

Startup marijuana businesses come in many forms – and the hottest guy on the market is the pre-rolled marijuana cigarette merchant. This is totally doable – if you get the right funding. Be sure to get your funding needs from a marijuana business funding provider, and avoid other costly options.

Business vs. Public Health: Marijuana Merchants Have New Issues

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile the Feds, the state government, and opposing citizens are big issues for marijuana merchants, the California Marijuana Legalization Legislation may have inadvertently delivered a new issue for merchants to deal with: the balance of business versus public health. Apparently their promotions are for new business measure, without any effort to educate the public about marijuana. While this is something that should be corrected, it could lead to even bigger issues when marijuana merchants look for business funding.

A researcher at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education concluded that “the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and dept. of Food and Agriculture showed more attention on collaborating with the marijuana industry and business development and paid less attention to the effects on public health or to controlling the growth of a large marijuana industry similar to the multinational tobacco industry”. Unlike other products, marijuana merchants are not experts on the substances that they are selling, and it is important that the state educate merchants and consumers. This issue could make it harder for local lenders who want to support marijuana businesses. Banks are usually the worst place to look for marijuana business funding, because banks are controlled by the Feds. The Feds consider marijuana in any amount to be illegal, even though twenty-two states have legalized it in some form. For many legal issues federal law trumps state and local law, so banks are hesitant to hand out loans.

Bank loans are always not the best idea for business funding because repayments are not merchant-friendly. With a bank loan, payments are due almost immediately, and even if your business fails, you must keep up payments, or risk forfeiting your collateral. This can quickly damage your business if you miss a payment, as well as your personal credit. Business funding is different. With business funding, the amount given is not a loan but rather an advance on your future sales. Payments are not taken in one large sum every month, but rather in a set percentage from your everyday sales. This helps you stay on top of your payments, and helps you avoid default on a hefty loan.

Contact us for Marijuana Business Funding today!


Illinois Medical Marijuana Business Booming

Highway sign with marijuana leaf "Now Entering Chicago (Illinois)"Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries made over $801,000 in medical cannabis sales since last November. According to the Associated Press, the retail price of medical cannabis is about $14 to $15 per gram. In addition, Illinois earned approximately $57,000 in taxes from medical marijuana. The state has 16 licensed dispensaries, but only 8 are actively taking patients. Thus far about 3,600 patients have been approved for treatment for the program. There should be an influx of patients and profits as more dispensaries open. Joseph Wright, dispensaries director expects 20 to 25 dispensaries to be open by the end of the year.

Illinois is one of a few states that have legalized medical marijuana. Advocates of medical marijuana hope the success in Illinois persuades other states to adopt the same policies. Many states that want to legalize recreational or medical marijuana face severe opposition. Proponents believe that allowing medical marijuana will not only help patients, but create an additional channel of revenue for the state. As seen in Illinois, proponents of medical marijuana hope to make a considerable amount of income from the sale and taxing of medical marijuana. In addition, supporters think legalization will save states money on law enforcement, legal fees, prison sentences, and other judicial costs. Of course, the potential revenue generated from medical marijuana will differ based on state policies.

Even if states were to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, dispensaries and growers will have to surpass a few hurtles. One major issue is finding banks willing to handle medical and recreational merchant accounts. Under current guidelines, bank officials must submit annual reports validating the legitimacy of any cannabis accounts. If there are any irregularities found with the cannabis accounts, banks can be charged with major penalties.

Still, medical and recreational merchants have found success when dealing with smaller, more progressive banks. Medical marijuana and recreational payment processing is a complex business that requires expert knowledge. As states begin to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, you will need a competent lender that specializes in marijuana business funding to infuse your business with cash.

Learn more about expanding your customer’s payment options and finding funding with MMJ

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Missouri Secretary of State Approves Medical Marijuana Petition

Marijuana Payment ProcessingIn October  2015, The Missouri Times reported the results of an informal online poll conducted by the St. Louis Business Journal. In this poll, an overwhelming 85% of respondents said “yes”, with only 13% answering “no”. These results came as a surprise for many, since the Business Journal’s readership – both in print and online – is considered to be more conservative.

This response was considered to be a rising tide of pro-marijuana sentiment in Missouri. Staunch medical marijuana advocate, lobbyist Mark Habbas, shared his feelings that people of all ages are simply beginning to see and believe in the benefits of medical marijuana. He also felt that the increase in the education on this topic has played a big part in this change.

“Every month, people are becoming more and more accepting to the fact that medical marijuana is a much safer alternative to prescription drugs,” he said. “I personally believe the numbers are accurate. They could even be higher. The more people we talk to on what the purpose of our bill is, there hasn’t been one person that said ‘I don’t support that.’”

Fast forward to the beginning of 2016. The Missouri Secretary of State has approved a petition calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, in order for this amendment to find itself on the ballet, pro-pot supporters will have to collect roughly 160,000 valid signatures on the petition.

Despite polls revealing the overwhelming support, the petition faces the opposition of both The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Society of Addiction Medicine. Both have expressed that they are strongly against medical marijuana laws. If Missouri is successful in legalizing medical marijuana, they will become the 24th state to do so.

For those that have businesses in this industry, or for those who are putting together their business plans, you know how difficult it can be to secure the business funding your business needs. Without funding, many marijuana businesses struggle to get their foot in the door. The “high risk” categorization placed on the industry by traditional lenders can make the situation seem impossible.

If this has been a problem for you, consider what marijuana business funding can offer your business. Marijuana business funding from a high risk provider like can provide your business with the funds it needs. Unlike a traditional lender, specializes in working with the marijuana industry and its unique needs. The application process is also simple, fast and hassle-free.

To learn more about Marijuana Business Funding, contact MMA today


Federal Reserve Says No To Cannabis Money, Why?

The-US-Federal-Reserve-II-A1The U.S. Federal Reserve stated in a Colorado court that it won’t accept money made from the sale of cannabis since it is still an illegal drug under federal law. The Federal Reserve also asks to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by the Fourth Corner Credit Union wanting to service a marijuana business.

This denial by the Federal Reserve is another blow to Colorado’s efforts to find banks to work with burgeoning marijuana entities. The Fourth Corner Credit Union wants to serve Colorado’s $700 million marijuana industry. The credit union applied for a master account with the Federal Reserve to work with marijuana businesses – but the request was denied. The credit union subsequently filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to overturn the Federal Reserve’s decision. The judge has not revealed when he will make the decision.

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the sale of recreational and medical marijuana. But its production, sale, and distribution are still banned under Federal law. In states that do allow cannabis production and sale, merchants who want to do business with banks are still having a difficult time acquiring merchant accounts. Regulations state that banks who do business with cannabis merchants are responsible for monitoring them and ensuring compliance. Banks are then required to report any suspicious activities. The heightened level of oversight and sizeable fines if banks miss illegal activity, are more than enough to keep most banks away from cannabis accounts. Still some smaller, usually local institutions, do offer small merchant accounts.

But as the market expands and the profits of cannabis merchants grow, the needs for larger institutional resources becomes more pressing. That’s why some states are still fighting to bring banking services to the industry. The state of Nevada is currently trying to create marijuana-focused “thrifts,” and California is still pushing for a state-run bank.

Despite these efforts, most in the industry know that the market won’t realize its full potential until the federal government passes laws that clearly protect financial institutions who work with marijuana companies.

Marijuana Merchant Account (MMA) offers a variety of cannabis payment processing options like debit cards, credit cards, checks, and more. Don’t wait on the federal government or large banks to help make your merchant account.

Call 1-800-466-1809 or click below for Marijuana Business Funding Options from MMA

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Welcome to New York, Where Marijuana Merchants Are Left Without Business Funding

marijuana banksEven though New York has legalized medical marijuana sales and usage, merchants are still having issues finding a marijuana business funding source. While most of the major US banks are headquartered – or have offices – in NYC, they are turning down applications from these merchants, due to its stance in the Federal law. Banks are regulated by the Feds, and marijuana is still illegal in the Feds’ eyes, so it is only natural that the banks want to protect themselves. However, it is legal in NYC, and these merchants must have a way to process payments.

With the amount of controversy surrounding this issue, it would seem that NYC is snowed under with dispensaries. The fact is, there are only five. Yes, five legalized medical marijuana dispensaries. It seems as though five may not do much damage to a bank or processor, but you have to consider that the goods are not legal in the Feds eyes, and that one chargeback can send a company spinning. One of the licensees is the talks with a processing source, and another is positive that they will find a source. The ability to accept plastic card (i.e. debit and credit card) payments tremendously helps businesses, and medical marijuana businesses are not different. Besides the ease of payment acceptance, it is also safer. “Cash Only” businesses are targeted, and once they money is gone, it’s gone.

Medical marijuana merchants from the 30+ states in which it is legalized are also having issues finding a cooperative marijuana business funding source. From payment processing to business cash advances, it is tough finding anyone to deal with your business. Luckily, there are some available, such as MMA, who offer up service and expertise in the industry. Regardless of who you choose, you need to make sure that they are indeed experienced in the industry, because this industry is one of the fastest to change, due to ever-changing states laws. Dealing with the local government is tough enough, but many times these processors must deal with the Feds, as well. You need to make sure that your processor will not back down and dump your account when the government comes calling. This has happened, and it leaves the merchants, the patients, and the local economy is a mess.

Contact us for Marijuana Business Funding today!


Up in Smoke: The Ohio Banking Industry is Trying to Shut Down Marijuana Legislation

medical marijuana payment processingWe all know that banks hate legalized marijuana merchants, be it recreational or medical. These industries are “high risk”, and God forbid that one actually succeeds. The Ohio Banker’s League recently voted to knock down Issue 3 which would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in the state. According to the Ohio Banker’s League, they fear a backlash over the clash between Federal illegalization and state legalization, because banks are regulated by the Feds. This is a legitimate quagmire for the banking industry, but it brings forth issues for merchants, if the industry is legitimized in Ohio.

This vote leads to the possibility that is the marijuana industry is legitimized in Ohio, it would be a “cash only” operation. While banking systems have never been fans of “high risk” merchants, the impact of not providing processing capabilities to marijuana merchants could wreak havoc. The volume of sales this industry brings in could help the state, but if it is “cash only”, the state will not reap as many benefits as it would if it were a “regular” processed retailer. For many states, this good has outweighed the negative aspect of being a federally outlawed industry.

If Ohio legalized medical and recreational marijuana, merchants will not only have to locate a marijuana payment processor, but many will eventually need marijuana business funding. Since banks will not be handing out loans, and few of us have a rich uncle, the search for a marijuana business funding source can be tough. There are companies available, such as MMA, that provide marijuana business funding. Some younger merchants in other states are getting creative with their funding search, using GoFundMe and other online fundraising sites to kick start their search. The problem with GoFundMe and other sites is that they can be at the mercy of the Feds, since money can be donated from people in other states – and even other countries.

While the Ohio Banker’s League opposes marijuana legalization, many in the state are in favor of this lucrative venture. Only time will tell if it is legalized, but if it is merchants will need to make sure that they find a good marijuana merchant account, as well as a marijuana business funding source, because the banking industry will not be catering to their new businesses. The search can be tough and long, but it is necessary to make sure that your business account is in the right hands.

Contact us for Marijuana Business Funding today!


Marijuana Business Funding – California Businesses Await Statewide Regulations

Marijuana Business FundingMedical marijuana is not new to the state of California. Although California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996, it never managed to establish statewide regulations on the medical cannabis industry. As a result, a mishmash of local rules were put into place that vary depending on the municipality or county.

The lack of regulations has led to a lot of uncertainty for businesses. On top of the general confusion in the market, there is also a continuous fluctuation of companies. Companies start up only to be shut down by anti-cannabis officials. This confusion and inconsistency in regulations is a statewide problem. If a regulatory scheme could be adopted statewide, it would help to stabilize the country’s largest MMJ industry.

At the beginning of September, it was announced that California was just days away from approving statewide regulations on its enormous medical cannabis industry. With the legislative session set to adjourn on Sept. 11, lawmakers and stakeholders are under a lot of pressure to work through negotiations and strike an agreement.

The key to reaching a solution will be appeasing all of the stakeholders, which includes industry leaders, law enforcement representatives and healthcare officials. All while conforming to new proposed bill language released by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

According to Sean Donahoe, an industry political consultant, “What’s been happening for at least the last two years is we’ve been trying to smoke out the governor – pun intended – as to what his preferred regulatory approach might be”.

While the governor’s bill language is likely to undergo further revisions, there have been hints as to what the bill might include. According to various sources and the East Bay Express’s review of Brown’s draft:

  • There would be a dozen state business licenses to choose from for businesses in the industry including: cultivator, dispensary, manufacturer, testing lab, and more.
  • Companies would be limited to two licenses each. A single company would not be allowed to grow, dispense and manufacture other goods, such as edibles. (However, there would more than likely be exemptions for the two-license cap for existing businesses that are currently conforming to separate local mandates).
  • Organic certifications would be put into place, and testing would more than likely be implemented and required.
  • Local governments could still possess the ability to ban commercial marijuana activity if it so desired.
  • Growing would be limited to one acre, or 20,000 square feet (the paper did not specify whether or not this would apply to outdoor or indoor grows).
  • There could be requirements that medical cannabis must be sold in the geographic region in which it was grown.

While the next steps involved are unclear, the specific regulations will be left to rulemaking under the authority of one or more state agencies. The governor reportedly preferred to choose a bigger picture regulatory bill while leaving the majority of the details to administrators. While the governor’s bill will more than likely undergo further revisions, many are optimistic in the progress that is being made.

In the words of one staffer, “This is the farthest any of the cannabis bills have come in the past few years, ever”.

The issue of regulation is obviously a big obstacle for businesses to overcome. Finding business funding is even more so. Many businesses have turned to marijuana business funding from high risk merchant account providers. Since business funding is not a loan, the application process is simple. Basic documentation is required, and the acceptance time is quick – sometimes in as little as 5-7 days. This has made marijuana business funding an attractive option as businesses wait for regulation issues to be addressed and decisions to be made.

Contact MMA for Marijuana Business Funding today!