The anti-marijuana sentiment in Washington is disappearing as the U.S. House of Representatives voted in support of making banking for marijuana dispensaries easier. The landmark vote – 236 to 186 in favor – was enacted to ease the burden of medical and legal marijuana dispensaries of processing transactions strictly in cash. Instead, the ruling is expected to allow banks, once hesitant, to step forward and offer marijuana merchant accounts so that licensed dealers can process credit card transactions.
Marijuana Merchant Accounts are Rare for Now
On Apr. 30, Instabill Founder and CEO Jason Field announced that Instabill established a marijuana merchant account solution. It was welcome news since Instabill regularly took inquiries for medical marijuana dispensaries, but was unable to offer a solution as banks remained hesitant to process credit card transactions. Additionally, the sale of marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, but federal officials are abiding by state jurisdictions to oversee marijuana. Instabill currently uses one of its offshore banks in order to arrange marijuana merchant accounts.
Why the Shift in Marijuana Banking?
Most marijuana dispensaries, medical and otherwise, are only able to process transactions in cash, leaving owners to make multiple visits to nearby banks for huge cash deposits. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D, Colorado), whose state legalized recreational use, told the Associated Press that operating in large amounts of cash is simply unsafe.
“They are operating just in cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and battery,” he said. “You cannot track the money. There is skimming and tax evasion. So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the Treasury Department is to bring this out in the open.”
More and More States Joining in
New York became the 23rd state (along with the District of Columbia) to legalize the sale of medical marijuana. A pro-marijuana group called the Marijuana Policy Project is on a mission to add a legal recreational use question on the voting ballot for several states, Massachusetts among them.
What does an Instabill Marijuana Merchant Account Entail?
Instabill has been a merchant services provider of high risk industries since the e-commerce boom. With a $299 setup fee and 4.95 percentage per transaction fee, Instabill can have your marijuana merchant account up and running quickly. With offshore bank processing, licensed marijuana merchants will benefit from no volume caps and less tax restrictions. Speak with one of Instabill’s merchant account managers at 1-800-318-1270.