Running a dispensary in today’s quickly-evolving atmosphere is not quite as easy as it used to be. There was a time when the old adage, “If you build it, they will come” was very true. Now, dispensary owners are dealing with increasing competition, consolidation and extremely savvy consumers. As markets continue to mature, the fight to engage and retain customers/patients will continue to get more intense.
The effort to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational usage has been long, but it is finally bearing fruit. Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado and the District of Columbia.
However, banks refuse to deal with the marijuana industry because cannabis remains on the federal list of banned substances, and acquiring and processing payments for it could put a bank at risk for AML/KYC prosecution. As a result, legal marijuana businesses cannot accept debit or credit cards.
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Marijuana entrepreneurs who want to process credit card transactions through a bank will have to adopt a key strategy for the time being: Patience.
Despite anecdotal reports that there are banks that are processing the transactions legally, experts say that this solution has been elusive.
“There is no credit card processing to my understanding at this time that is legitimate,” says Leslie Bocskor, managing partner at Electrum Partners LLC, a boutique consulting firm in Las Vegas specializing in the marijuana industry, and founding chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association. As a result, many owners of marijuana businesses must still rely on a cash-only model, which can be difficult because of the risks of robbery, internal theft and record keeping mistakes.
Read the rest of the article at Creditcards.com.