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Currently, no payment processor or acquiring banks can offer medical marijuana merchant accounts, for a myriad of reasons.
The business of marijuana – medical and recreational – has been arguably the most debated and discussed topic of the payments industry over the last five years. Marijuana merchants and businesses continue to forge ahead without the use of credit and debit cards and process transactions in straight cash, massive amounts of cash.
We believe, however, a credit card processing solution is in the near future.
Why medical marijuana merchant accounts are considered high risk
There are several logical reasons for this:
- Federal law trumps state law: It doesn’t matter that 29 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, the U.S. federal government views marijuana growth, use and sale against the law. Thus, acquiring banks do not want to shoulder the burden of risk.
- Schedule I drug: Perhaps justly or unjustly, marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic along with the likes of heroin, LSD, ecstasy and crystal meth. As long as it retains a Schedule I classification, banks are likely not to offer credit card solutions.
That’s not to say progress is not been made, however.
Progress: More state legalization, investors
As the year 2018 begins, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. Additionally, investors are pouring money into it. If the last 5-7 years is any indication, more state legalization is sure to follow, which may serve as the catalyst for regulatory changes and thusly, proper payment processing solutions for marijuana.
Instabill on the forefront
Instabill speaks to its network of banking partners, agents, ISOs and competing payment service providers on a regular basis regarding medical marijuana merchant accounts and the possibilities that await. We feel that actual credit card processing for medical and recreational marijuana is a mere matter of time.