So, What Happens to Pot Users When It Is Legalized?

Marijuana Merchant AccountWe all know what happens to pot itself when it is legalized. There are high taxes placed on it, and there are quality-control regimens that are put into place, to ensure safety and purity. No one argues against quality and purity – and most of us can argue against higher taxes – but what does the legalization do to pot smokers? Will they pay more for quality, or will they stick with their illegally obtained green that is cheaper and has somewhat questionable quality?

Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Results for Colorado, Washington and Oregon, the study examined changes in rates of marijuana consumption per month. The rate of increase in marijuana use didn’t change significantly after legalization in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Marijuana use has been steadily increasing in all three states since the early 2000s.

Opponents of marijuana legalization are especially concerned that young people would use more marijuana if it’s legalized. The study looked at surveys of health behaviors conducted in middle schools and high schools as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Colorado and Alaska, and found that there was no significant change in trends of youth marijuana use post-legalization.

So, perhaps the worries about youth and non-pot smokers getting ahold of – and addicted – to legalized pot is wrong. But, it does ultimately help those who would purchase it and smoke it anyway. The better quality-control and purity is great for those who want a superior experience, and the various strains and strengths available in one place benefits those who aren’t sure what they want. But still, legalized marijuana will always be a source of hesitation for many – namely lawmakers.

Many states lack the I&R rulings to allow for a simple vote during election time, and others simply refuse to allow it on the ballot. You can’t blame them; some believe that that rash of stoned drivers may cause problems. But, a rash a drunken drivers cause problems – and alcohol is legal in the united states. It may take years – decades – and even a century – for everyone to get ahold of legalized pot; that is, if they actually want to use it.

Women Take Control of Marijuana Legalization and Dispensary Check Processing

Marijuana Merchant AccountIn the many businesses that women lead in, marijuana isn’t usually what you think of. Due to 13 states legalization of recreational and/or medical marijuana, women have taken the reigns of this up and coming legal business. In 2015 the industry brought in around $5.4 billion, and many of those profiting were women. Some are savvy, long-driven business women, and others were simply mothers who wanted to help the public gain access to much-needed (and wanted) medical marijuana. Whatever the reason – and whomever the merchant – these women are taking the United States by storm, but there is one thing that can hold them back.

That “one thing” isn’t their sex, or even legislation which still regards marijuana as a federally illegal substance. The issue at hand is the perceived lack of dispensary check processing options. The industry is held to a “high risk” standard, which severely limits the merchant’s ability to find check processing. The “high risk” label is placed upon industries and merchants whom the financial and processing industry think will have a harder time staying in business. This not only includes legalized marijuana sales, but also car dealerships, e-cig shops, and adult toy shops. The main problem is the risk of chargebacks with these companies. While a chargeback and hit any company, those categorized as “high risk” typically have an increased occurrence.

While some chargebacks cannot be controlled, there are things that you can do, especially if you have a “high risk” business. First off, you need to search for the best check processor for your business. Sometimes the search is easy, but for some merchants the search can take a long time. For instance, a legalized marijuana business can have a harder time finding a check processor for their business, due to the business’s illegality in the Fed’s eyes. Be careful when looking for “all in one” high risk check processors, because while they may claim to cater to all high risk merchants, they may not be experienced enough to deal with the issues that arise within the legalized marijuana industry. Instead, look for a processor who specialized in legalized marijuana businesses, such as MMA.

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Prohibition of Medical Marijuana is a Win for the Black Market

weed-tax-revenue-elite-dailyIt has been 20 years since Californians approved Proposition 215, the medical marijuana policy that allows for growth and distribution of the drug to designated patients. Since then, the growth and distribution of medical marijuana has been controlled by local entities. But it was only last year that the state approved the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, a group of bills that attempts to regulate medical marijuana on a state level. The act seeks to control the cultivation, manufacturing and licensing of medical marijuana, but maintains local government’s sovereignty over marijuana businesses, cultivation, and delivery. But an erroneous deadline in the bill allows local governments to ban medical pot cultivation, dispensaries, and mobile delivery. This has made many patients who have depended on the drug for treatment nervous.

The new bills gives local governments without ordinances relating to the cultivation of medical marijuana, the ability to do so until March 1, 2016. After that, the authority goes to the state. The deadline has sent some local governments scrambling to enact any type of regulation. In fact, dozens of governments have now imposed bans on medical marijuana cultivation. Last month, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Calistoga, Merced, and Tustin banned cultivation and/or deliveries. While other cities like Riverside, voted to allow a limited amount of cultivation.

In an open letter to city and county governments, Assemblyman Jim Wood, stated an intention to strike down the deadline and keep regulation in the hands of local governments. Some local governments have indicated a willingness to take another look at ordinances if the deadline is eradicated.

If the deadline is removed, local governments should focus on regulation and not prohibition. According to Americans for Safe Access, an organization that advocates for medical marijuana, bans on commercial or personal pot cultivation hurt patients. Despite the moral qualms that some citizens may have regarding medical marijuana, the reality is that patients are legally prescribed marijuana from a doctor that has determined they can benefit from use. Banning the growth and distribution of medical cannabis will only benefit the black market. As patients lose access to the drug legally, they will seek it out in places much harder to find and control.

Marijuana Merchant Account (MMA) offers a variety of marijuana payment solutions. We are a leading source of medical and recreational payment processing and loan origination. Be ready for state regulation with consumer and government trusted standards that only MMA can provide.

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Texas Marijuana Legalization Getting Many Votes

Medical marijuana use has been a touchy subject for many years now. With many states moving forward with legalization, but federal laws remaining strict, it’s difficult to know where cannabis use stands these days.

medical marijuana payment processingThe “Christian Case” has been making headlines across the nation. The infamous Texas bill is attempting to legalize marijuana for religious purposes. As a surprise to many, it’s actually getting a lot of votes and is moving forward much more than expected.

Texan Marijuana Rights Changing

Texas has long been against all use of marijuana, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes. However, with this new bill having received three democratic votes and two republican votes in House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, it’s now going to Calendars Committee before ultimately reaching House Committee.

It’s a huge step forward in the legalization of marijuana in the state of Texas. With marijuana business funding be more and more accessible, we had to see it coming. However, nobody would have expected this bill to make it this far.

What the Bill Proposes

The bill itself is a major step. It’s seeking full legalization and decriminalization on religious grounds. Although the bill clearly states that marijuana would remain illegal for minors, parents would have the ultimate decision about where marijuana belongs in their household.

This bill would ultimately place marijuana on a similar standing as alcohol and tobacco.

Religion and Marijuana Use

This entire bill is based around marijuana being a creation of God. Reverends and pastors across the state are coming forward, stating that marijuana use should be a decision that individuals make, not the government. Although not all religious representatives are for marijuana use, many of them still believe that it was put on Earth for a reason and it should be legalized.

While most people thought marijuana would be legalized for medical purposes, it may in fact be spirituality that acts as the stepping-stone to legalizing marijuana in the 21st century. Although the bill still has a long way to go before being official, it’s no longer an unrealistic expectation.

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President Obama Sees the Political Advantages of Cannabis

medical marijuana payment processingPresident Barack Obama has recently been opening up on the topic of cannabis and its benefits. Many are viewing this move as political. At the beginning of April 2015, Obama traveled to Jamaica for a conference of Caribbean nations before heading to a summit in Panama.

Jamaica is known as a pot-friendly culture, even though marijuana possession and use was illegal up until this past February. The new law allows possession of up to 2 ounces, legalizes it for religious use and the cultivation of a small number of plants. The general feeling is that this new law will make way for even more rules to be implemented for the medical use of marijuana.

For decades, the Jamaican parliament has wanted to begin an effort in the United Nations to begin a study of amending international treaties that would ultimately lead to a drug reclassification of the substance. However, no move has ever been made to do so out of fear that the United States would halt any attempts.

With the general view on marijuana changing in the United States, Jamaican officials are beginning to show interest in returning to this effort. Americans have become more and more accepting of marijuana for both medical purposes as well as recreational.

According to “Bloomberg Politics” writer, Margaret Talev,  “The Gallup Poll found that tipping point in October 2013, when 58 percent of Americans said they favor legalization, up from 50 percent in 2011, 31 percent in 2001 and just 12 percent in 1969”.

Americans’ view on marijuana is not the only thing that is changing. The change in attitude is also allowing the U.S. an opportunity to feel comfortable enough to re-examine certain laws. These changes, coupled with the fact that President Obama has commuted 22 drug offenders and a life sentence for conspiracy to grow and distribute thousands of marijuana plants this month, has begun to set the political stage for the 2016 elections.

Nearly half of the states have legalized medical marijuana, with four states and the nation’s capital going as far as legalizing recreational use for adults. Nine or more states have adult use on the ballot for 2016, and Republican presidential hopeful, Senator Rand Paul, is backing bipartisan legislation that would remove the threat of federal prosecution of medical marijuana in the states that have already legalized the substance.

Regardless of these changes, traditional lending sources remain hesitant to offer their services to those involved in this industry since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. For now, businesses are continuing to seek medical marijuana payment processing. Fortunately, these providers specialize in working with “high risk” industries – like the marijuana industry – and have no scruples with continuing to offer their services.

To accept other payments than cash at your dispensary, contact MMA today!

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Majority of Voters in Swing States Are in Favor of Legalization

Marijuana American FlagRecently, attention has been on the swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was not anticipated that these states would be the next to campaign for the legalization of marijuana, but voters have revealed in a recent poll that they do indeed support it. In fact, the majority of voters in these three states support permitting adults to possess marijuana legally.

According to survey data published by Quinnipiac University on April 6, 2015, 55% to 42% of Florida voters support allowing adults to possess marijuana in small quantities for the purpose of personal use. In addition, 52% to 44% supported this legalization in Ohio. In Pennsylvania, 51% of voters revealed that they supported this legalization while 45% oppose it.

Voters in the swing states did not just reveal their sentiment in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Voters also seem to favor making marijuana available for therapeutic purposes, allowing doctors the ability to recommend cannabis therapy.

According to the poll, 84% to 14% of voters in Florida are in favor of making the plant’s availability for therapeutic purpose legal. In addition, the vote in favor was 84% to 15% in Ohio and 88% to 10% in Pennsylvania.

Despite these votes in favor of both the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, lawmakers have yet to hold any hearings on either the legislation seeking to regulate marijuana use and retail sale or the legislation to permit regulatory access to medical cannabis. Both pieces of legislation are pending in Florida and Pennsylvania.

For businesses in this industry, the legalization of marijuana couldn’t come fast enough. Those in the industry operating in states where it has been legalized are still encountering issues with securing funding. Why? Regardless of the legalization in some states, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

Because of this, traditional lending sources are reluctant to provide their services. This hole has been filled thanks to alternative funding options. Marijuana payment solutions has become the option of choice for many marijuana business owners., for example, has been helping medical marijuana dispensaries with payment processing for almost ten years.

If this has been a problem for your business or you are considering starting a business, take time to consider what marijuana payment solutions could offer your business or startup. The application process is simple, fast and hassle-free. And unlike traditional lending sources, you will not experience a pile of endless paperwork and a long wait period to receive your funds.

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The U.S. Legalization of Marijuana Proves to be Affecting Mexican Cartel

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Much has been said about the battle for legalization of marijuana in the states, but how is this legalization process affecting the illegal scene? According to recent reports, the U.S. legalization of marijuana has really begun to cut into the Mexican Cartels’ smuggling of the substance. U.S. Border Patrol Agents stationed along the 2,000 mile-U.S. border have not seen nearly the amount of marijuana that has been confiscated in previous years, though the smuggling of other kinds of drugs is increasing.

The quantities of marijuana confiscated by the U.S. Border Patrol continues to steadily fall. In 2011, 2.5 million pounds of the drug were seized. In 2014, this amount decreased to 1.9 million. While agents are working hard to keep the border safe, the drop in seizures seems to be from more than just law enforcements’ efforts.

The wave of U.S. marijuana legalization seems to be the big reason for the hit to the Mexican Cartels’ trade. In 2012, both Colorado and Washington State legalized marijuana. Alaska, Oregon and D.C. followed shortly. The U.S. growers have begun to build a budding industry. These gourmet products have even been given exotic names; such as, White Widow, Oaktown Crippler and Golden Goat.

Drug policy reformers have used this as support, saying that the care taken by American dispensaries in labeling their drugs based on how strong they are plus the market shift away from Mexican gangsters demonstrates that people are willing to buy the product from a legal tax-paying business.

As the marijuana industry continues to grow at a pace that has made it the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy, analysts are trying to determine what the long-term effect on the Mexican cartel finances and violence will be. It will hopefully mean less cash for the cartel to buy weapons and bribe police. In addition, there will hopefully be a continued decline in murders in Mexico.

Even with the industry booming in the U.S. where it has been legalized, the fact that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level means securing business funding from traditional lending sources will continue to be difficult, if not impossible. When some marijuana businesses have encountered this issue, they have turned to alternative funding. Marijuana payment processing has become a great option for business that need a provider willing to work with their “high risk” categorization while also providing them with a fast, simple and hassle-free experience.

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