The cannabis industry is stuck between federal prohibition and state legalization, and it has been forced to be cash-only operations. Even for businesses with a good relationship with big banks, the decision by major debit and credit card companies to reject any card transactions for the federally illegal substance, putting the transparent, legitimate and cashless purchases seems an impossible task.
But because of recent events, a lot of businesses are finding new ways to solve this dilemma. In a surprising move in the marijuana industry, the State of Hawaii announced last 2017 that they will be opening medical marijuana dispensaries that will accept cashless payment. They adopted mobile debit applications like CanPay, to provide the cannabis industry a cashless payment solution. To know more about cannabis legalization in the United States, you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_U.S._jurisdiction.
It is the only the state-approved cashless solution in Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensaries. Despite some confusion about whether cannabis dispensaries can still accept cash payments or if they are offering a state-sanctioned cashless alternative, the announcement has gained a lot of attention in the United States cannabis industry.
According to experts based in Hawaii, the cashless alternatives provided patients, who do not want to carry cash, a state-approved and great option when paying for their purchases. More or less 10% of all the dispensary transactions are paid using these cashless alternatives, and that is with clients aged 55 years old and above.
These people like to stick by the rules and want to do everything the legal way. It is imperative that they have alternative options sanctioned by the United States government. Cash-only transactions do not only affect how the dispensaries operate, but they can also affect the customer and the patient’s convenience when making their purchases.
As the cannabis industry becomes more competitive, consumer experiences have become very important. Consumers are looking for the same frictionless and ease when it comes to the consumer experience. They are looking for an enjoyable and hassle-free purchase of their favorite legal cannabis products.
According to most business experts, traditional payment methods are business owner’s right for the cannabis industry and most businesses strive to provide alternative payment method services to their clients. Most of these dispensaries accept cash, even though most of them have a marijuana dispensary ATM outside their shops.
They also accept payments using a mobile application. You want people to have other modes of payment other than paying cash. In today’s digital world and economy, it is quite rare that someone pays for services using cash payments outside of purchasing cannabis in legitimate dispensaries. Some dispensaries implement digital payment options offered through applications like Hypur. It shows that it is a lot convenient for most patients, and helps cut out bank fees.
Walking through cashless alternatives
For marijuana dispensary owners looking for cashless payment options, working through it is not that simple. Along with legit, transparent cannabis payment services, the cannabis industry is overflowing with services that take advantage of business owners, and they were putting the already-volatile relationship between the bank and dispensaries at risk. Listed below are some of the examples of the most common alternatives; both good and bad.
Third-Party merchant account
It involves paying a third-party service or create an assumed business name and disguise your connections to cannabis and get a merchant account to process all major debit or credit card transactions via Mastercard, Visa, American Express and other credit or debit card issuers. The money will go to the third-party merchant account first before going to your dispensary account.
Sooner or later, card issuers will discover that you are misrepresenting your nature of business and will shut down the arrangement. If you are going to process a debit or credit card, and it is not under your company name, even if your businesses are legal, at the bank or the card issuer’s point of view, it will look like you are just laundering money.What is a merchant account? Click here to find out more.
Cashless Automated Teller Machine Voucher
Using this service, the card terminal in the cannabis dispensaries will produce ATN vouchers instead of cash. It will register as ATM withdrawals instead of a debit card purchase related to cannabis. But like all Automated Teller Machine withdrawals, these vouchers are in set increments, a multiple of $5 or $10. Because these vouchers are not for the exact purchase amount, the cannabis dispensaries need to make a change. Client ATM fees, as well as the time for electronic deposits to reach their account, can vary significantly.