In our heart of hearts, we believe the day is coming when a cannabis merchant account solution can be had just like any other high risk industry; a day where robust payment solutions for cannabis transactions will be in place. For the many high risk merchant account providers in the U.S. awaiting that day, it can’t get here fast enough.
We doubt very much any of our pro-cannabis legalization colleagues want to hear or read this, but there is a bright side of having to wait for the federal legalization of cannabis, and it all revolves around one principle:
Getting it right.
Getting it right from the perspectives of regulations, merchants and the consumers, which is a large landscape. In a way, the U.S. was fortunate when Canada legalized recreational cannabis us on Oct. 17 of this past year, simply because it has a front row seat to view how our northern neighbors handle the many intricacies the cannabis industry brings – regulations, hazards and, of course, how the Canadian banks handle cannabis merchant account solutions.
A few more challenges on the horizon
We’ve blogged plenty about the broad impact marijuana legalization will (likely) have – on other industries, on banking services and communities, and there are many. When we attended MJBizCon 2018 Nov. 12-16, there were a number is issues and challenges discussed in the seminar titled Compliance Lessons for the Real World. The session was led by Sandra Elkind, CCO of STO Responsible, a provider of secure packaging; Kyle Sherman, CEO of Flowhub, which provides cannabis software compliance; and Joe Hodas, COO of General Cannabis Corporation, which specializes in brand strategy.
While the seminar was less than an hour, the discussion could’ve lasted the entire afternoon. An expert panel discussed not only the key issues, but what we are likely to see as the industry slowly takes shape in the U.S.
Sustainability measures: Cannabis merchants in the 10 legal states and the District of Columbia are wise to work in best practices now, particularly in sustainability and efficiency in their operations, as regulations are undoubtedly expected to be tightened if and when federal legalization ever happens.
Transport and logistics oversight: Dispensaries and storefronts involved in delivery services – from freight truck drivers to personal delivery drivers – can expect to be tracked from departure to delivery, particularly in the first few years of operation to ensure safety, compliance and quality control.
Limits on power: LED lighting is a critical need for indoor grow facilities, particularly the four-season states, which rely on consistent growth through the dark winter months. Indoor growth is very energy intense, and cultivators will need to find creative ways to remain in compliance with energy regulations while maximizing growth of product. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise is if revised energy regulations for growers could be forthcoming.
Application processes more difficult: Predictably, since cannabis has gone from illegal to legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., in under six years, the application process is predictably strict and thorough (similar to applying for a cannabis merchant account with Instabill), with caveats such as:
- No criminal background
- Detailed, thorough business plan
- KYC documents such as license, CV, proof of property ownership, incorporation documents, personal and business bank statements, among others.
Now hiring: Compliance officers
Of all the employment opportunities created by state legalization of cannabis, we’ll go as far to say that one opportunity expected to arise is the need for cannabis compliance officers – attorneys and other professionals well-versed in the various state laws and regulations to help cannabis merchants navigate a turbulent landscape.
Talk to us about cannabis merchant account solutions
For us, the best way we know to get the cannabis merchant account approval process started is an initial 10-minute conversation about a merchant’s processing needs compared to our solutions. Our expert merchant services managers will present a clear picture on the best solutions for your cannabis business.
Do you have 10 minutes for us? We’re available Monday through Friday (8 a.m. until 6 p.m.) U.S. eastern time at 1-800-530-2444.