Hawaii Was Slow To Roll Out Medical Marijuana, But Fast To Go Cashless

Hawaii Was Slow To Roll Out Medical Marijuana, But Fast To Go Cashless

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Hawaii is just saying no to cash transactions for medical marijuana. (Shutterstock) Hawaii has decided to turn its medical marijuana program into a cashless payment system in the hopes of avoiding the problems that other states and businesses have faced when dealing large sums of cash. The goal is that by October 1, all of Hawaii’s licensed dispensaries will no longer use cash, but instead ask their customers to pay with a debit payment app. Governor David Ige said at a press conference on Tuesday, “Cannabis is illegal at the federal level, still a schedule one controlled substance. Because of this, all financial institutions in Hawaii have decided against providing banking services to the dispensaries. This solution allows the dispensaries to be able to write checks, to do all of the normal financial transactions that most businesses would do.” Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but only recently implemented its program. Banking has been tremendously difficult for cannabis companies. The major banks refuse to work with these businesses because marijuana is still federally illegal. The major credit card companies have also turned their backs on customers wanting to use their bank cards to engage in such transactions. This has caused inconvenience for the customers who are forced to pay with cash and the dispensaries that end up with stacks of cash that needs to be processed. “The arrival of banking and payment services for the cannabis industry in Hawaii will enable dispensaries to reduce or eliminate cash sales, which will help keep these businesses much more secure,” said Kerry Komatsubara, Executive Director of the Hawaiian Educational Association for Therapeutic Healthcare (HEALTH). “The cash-only precedent in this industry is less than ideal for customers, employees, and the general community, so having alternative options available really does change how we do […]

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