California Moving Towards Public Banking for Marijuana Businesses

medical marijuana payment processingToo much money? Is that even a thing? For marijuana-related businesses, it is. They make a lot of cash, but have no way to safely deposit it at the bank like other businesses. Banks are subject to heavy regulations and are unwilling to offer solutions to the cannabis industry. Under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule I substance – listed alongside heroine and LSD. As far as the Drug Enforcement Agency is concerned, there is no accepted medical use of marijuana and a high potential for abuse.

As a result, cannabis-related deposits are not federally insured. These business’ cash are also subject to seizure by the feds. To try to find some solution for these businesses, California is considering whether a state public bank could be the answer. With a projected $6.5 billion in revenue by 2020, the state is anxious to find secure processing options for this potentially very lucrative industry.

On August 10, state treasurer John Chiang met members of the Cannabis Banking Working Group. This meeting was arranged following Californians vote to legalize recreational marijuana, and the issue on the table was exploring bank access for cannabis businesses (or the lack thereof). California estimates that 70 percent of marijuana-related businesses are currently unable to secure the bank accounts they need.

According to Chiang, public banking is an increasingly popular idea for not just marijuana businesses, but others as well. The Great Recession of 2008 left many business owners dissatisfied with the private finance system in the U.S. If California successfully establishes a public institution, it would be run by local treasury officials and beholden to state taxpayers.

The only public bank in the U.S. (for now) is the Bank of North Dakota. This institution was established in 1919 when farmers were unable to secure loans through private banks under the federal system. Colorado and Massachusetts are also considering a similar solution to California. However, those brave enough to consider this option face many obstacles and risks and a complicated process. For example, marijuana-related businesses would still be unable to secure traditional marijuana credit card processing.

While many Californians are optimistic about the future, for now the safest options for marijuana-related businesses remain either in cash (extremely unsafe and impractical) or an alternative solution – like marijuana credit card processing from a high-risk provider like MMA. Depending on the business type, merchants can secure either a recreational or medical marijuana merchant account in as little as 24 hours.


Christmas in July, Nevada Celebrates Legalization of Recreational Weed

christmasNevada has joined Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in becoming the fifth state to open dispensaries to recreational users. The celebration that took place with the legalization July 1st at midnight included DJs, food trucks and long lines. State Sen. Tick Segerblom, the pro-pot legislator who backed both medical and recreational marijuana, was the first the make a purchase.

Scot Rutledge, who worked on the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign, describes it as “It’s like Christmas wrapped into New Year’s. It’s surreal.”

Amid the celebrations, some are asking a lot of questions. How does Nevada plan to regulate and process recreational measures? It may be the state where gambling, prostitution and drinking in public is legal, but recreational marijuana is still a new frontier – even for Nevada.

So far, it appears that Nevada is several steps ahead of the other recreational states. California Maine and Massachusetts also past recreational measures in November, but have yet to finalize their rules. Nevada, on the other hand, has shared that it expects to collect $70 million for education in the next two years by taxing recreational marijuana at around 34 percent. Nevada’s medical program (protected by a recently passed law) will collect fewer taxes; this will keep costs down for sick individuals.

Now, under Nevada law:

  • Individuals 21 years of age and older are now able to buy and possess up to an ounce of flower, or an eight-ounce of concentrates (wax, shatter and oil) at a dispensary located anywhere throughout the state.
  • Purchases are to be made in cash with a valid ID
  • Driving under the influence is illegal
  • And products can only be consumed on private property with the owner’s permission (does not include hotels and casinos)

At the moment, only Colorado is working towards public consumption by allowing bookstores and yoga studios the opportunity to apply for permits. However, Colorado’s only obstacle appears to be indoor smoking bans, which is not the case for Nevada. Still, many are optimistic that lounges connected to Nevada dispensaries could open later this year.

In the meantime, merchants do have the challenge of operating in cash-only. Traditional providers are typically unwilling to work with the marijuana industry because of the risks involved. This is where alternative providers – like Marijuana Merchant Account – have stepped in and offered safe payment processing solutions and flexible business funding options. For now, those behind the push for the legalization of recreational marijuana are very hopeful that changes in the right direction will continue.



Marijuana Tax Facts for California

480007355Marijuana is a big tax builder for California, and some new law changes can make it an even bigger tax booster. The tax in Prop 55 is not new, but is an extension of a temporary tax increase approved by voters in the last election when they voted for Prop 30. Prop 55 would extend that tax by 12 years, but only for Californians earning more than $250,000. It’s estimated the tax would generate between four and $9 billion a year for public schools, and $2 billion dollars a year for health care for low-income patients.

So, that’s good right? Right, but it could be more. And with more legal issues in the way it could be a long road before the numbers are met. However, it can be met with a major blow to another filter-tipped friend: The cigarette. Prop 56 would also help fund the state’s Medi-Cal program by hitting cigarette smokers where it hurts most – their wallets. The measure proposes increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 87 cents by $2 to $2.87. So, it could be adding tax revenue to the state and help curb smoking.

But let’s be real: It probably will not totally cut out cigarette smoking. The cigarette tax in NYC is over $4, and people still buy them. But, legalized marijuana is a whole other game. Not only is it for those who want a stress reliever, but it is also for those with medical issues who want a natural remedy. And pot seems to be a great natural remedy.

Merchants still need to be careful, because even if these taxes are totally enacted, there will be even more strain on marijuana businesses. You need to make sure that your business is following the state laws, county laws, and city laws as they relate to your business. You also need to make sure that you have a marijuana merchant account provider that understands your industry. This not only can help save your business from violating any laws, but it can help it from losing money from a merchant account provider who doesn’t know how your industry works.

With Great Cash Comes Greater Struggle

marijuana-money-profits-earnings-medical-marijuana-projectWhen you legalize an industry that has been illegal for too long, the changes to the business landscape of such a change are plenty. This is the case with the marijuana industry, whereby an increasing number of business opportunities are emerging, with people using their imagination to come up with new ways to capitalize on this opportunity.

As per the 2010 Cato Institute paper The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition, the potential size of this industry is in the region of $14 billion – a staggering number for an industry that is expected to grow further and become even more colossal.

As you can see, the prospects of marijuana businesses are certainly on the high. The competition is relatively low, and there are still unexplored areas that creative businesspeople can make the most of. So if you are one of many people who are unable to resist the lucrative charm of this newly legalized industry, there is little reason for you not to go for it. The cash is good, and the there is no lack of ways that this cash can be made.

However, and this is a major however, banking services and other financial institutions haven’t quite embraced this industry as yet. Despite its legalization in several states, the federal government still considers marijuana as an illegal narcotic. The result? Your business is considered high risk, and most financial institutions steer clear of any opportunity to allow you loans or do business with you of any sort.

But, this isn’t your biggest challenge. Your biggest challenge, instead, is getting access to a merchant processing account, without which you are unable to accept credit card payments. It’s almost like a treasure chest right in front of you that you can’t touch. So much cash, and at the same time, so much struggle too. Every business needs a merchant account, but what you also need here is a provider who actually understands you, your business, and its needs. This is what we, at, do best.

At, we are dedicated to getting you the best marijuana payment processing services around, allowing you to immediately start accepting credit cards and making the most of this opportunity. We know the story behind this apparently controversial business of yours and therefore, address all the issues and provide you with just the merchant processing services you are looking for.

All you have to do is reach out to us, and you will be reaping benefits of this emerging and extremely lucrative marijuana industry in no time. At the end of the day, you retain the cash part, while we deal with the struggle. Win-win.

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Why Marijuana Shouldn’t Be A Big Deal

imgresFew things are as controversial and under the debate as the legalization of marijuana. Quite recently, Republicans have tried to form a case of medical marijuana, claiming that the use of the plant should be allowed to treat epilepsy patients. The problem, surprisingly, emerges from a specific characteristic of the cannabis plant. Yes, you guessed it right – the problem policy-makers apparently have with marijuana is its virtually harmless ability to give you a high. Ludicrous, no?

Now this is a little confusing. What about the likes of Xanax and Ativan? What about other prescription pills? What about alcohol? All these are legal because they serve a purpose that outweighs any negative aspect, right? The question, therefore, to be asked is that when such purposes for marijuana are being found, why the hypocrisy?

No one seems to be worried about the buzz that generates from alcohol and the accidents it continues to cause on a daily basis, or how these prescription drugs help you take the edge off. However, when it comes to marijuana, hypocrisy echoes the arguments that favor its prohibition. It is confusing at best, and the arguments that champions of its prohibition present are starting to seem shaky. An example of this is the legalization of this once illegal narcotic in a few, if not all, states.

Truth is, Republicans are pushing for medical marijuana and there seems to be nothing wrong with that. If patients can escape countless hours of suffering at an expense of a little buzz, how is this possibly a bad deal? Moreover, the benefits are not just limited to curing diseases, but this potential legalization also poses a very viable business opportunity for an unexploited niche. Imagine the benefits to the economy.

While selling medical marijuana can certainly be a lucrative venture, it is not without its problems. The biggest issue is that even if you have the legal certification, you will struggle at the hands of different financial institutions, as they will look at your business as a high-risk one. This would mean that you would be left without a merchant processing account, leaving you unable to operate as you will not be able to accept credit card payments.

At, we come to your aid, understanding your business and providing you with the best medical marijuana payment processing services. We are on your side of this debate, and therefore, don’t turn our back on you. If it is a merchant processing account you need, you are in safe hands with us.

As soon as you sign up with us, you can start accepting credit card payments, set your business in the right gear, and start making the most of this newly emerging business of legalized pot.

For Marijuana Payment Solutions, contact us today!

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Minnesota Chooses Who will have the First Coveted Grow Licenses

high risk marijuana merchant servicesOn May 29th, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bipartisan medical marijuana proposal that made Minnesota the 22nd state to exempt certain sick individuals from receiving penalties for using marijuana with a doctor’s certification. The medical marijuana laws are strict in that they prohibit smoking of the drug; it can only be consumed via a manufactured pill or in oil form.

Other steps for the industry have been taken in the state of Minnesota. The grow licenses for the state have become extremely coveted. On the first of December, Minnesota’s state Department of Health handed out the grow licenses to LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed).

LeafLine is operated by the owners of Bachman’s Floral Gift and Garden Centers in Minnesota. MinnMed works with People’s Choice Medica which is a cannabis consulting firm based in Denver Colorado. Both companies will be providing services to 5,000 patients in the state of Minnesota.

Ten hopeful producers had been awaiting the decision of who would be lucky enough to receive the licenses for the state’s first two legal producers of medical cannabis. The material grown by these two producers will be sold in “distribution centers”. However, before more dispensaries can be built throughout the state, these companies will have to win the approval of locals. If all goes well, Minnesota’s medical marijuana patients will have access to these product by July 1st.

At the moments, the companies have the huge task of developing new, massive grow facilities for their up and coming businesses. As the state continues to become comfortable with idea of the industry moving in, more opportunities will be opening up.

Business will need to have safe payment processing options. The industry is still considered high risk, so the need for safe, secure and legal options is even more important. High risk marijuana merchant services with allow you to offer your patients means to pay with their credit card, debit card or savings account. Take advantage of their payment processing solutions for both retail and delivery dispensaries.

Contact us today!

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