Cannabis at the Federal level is still listed as a scheduled one narcotic, thereby strong-arming banks to not accept cannabis companies’ funds. Up until October 1st of this year, transactions for cannabis companies have been mostly cash and it wasn’t until recently that Hawaii pushed through changes to the status quo.
Cannabis is still purely for medicinal purposes within the state of Hawaii, but this new push for cashless transactions could help other states where cannabis still struggles to find the appropriate financial institution.
The change has its sights set on developing transparency from cannabis companies to the wider social and cultural spectrum. Establishing a safer method of purchasing cannabis-based products means limiting potential theft or robbery. Typically businesses which purely operate with cash remain vulnerable opposed to cashless alternatives.
Prior to Trump’s administration, banks were consulted with the legality of cannabis business accounts. Yet this is not an exemption to the law, meaning banks would still be open to legal vulnerabilities by accepting cannabis companies’ business. And the shift in cultural leniency may drum up cause for scrutiny. The benefits of a transparent cannabis industry means building a trust in a progressive and financially successful way.
Now cannabis companies within Hawaii will handle their cashless transaction with a new app based in Colorado, where cannabis has been legal since 2015. The app comes from a local Credit Union division, Safe Harbor Private banking.
Hawaii’s state department approved sales early 2017, one year after licenses were granted to dispensaries. Maui grown therapies was one of the first clinics to lead the charge having opened last month.
Dispensaries and some customers have expressed a preference for cash despite the new debit system. And dispensaries will still be able to accept cash for any purchase. Otherwise, the debit app will be available on Smartphones as the method of payment. Customers without smartphones can still sign up for the debit app, Canpay. Creating an online account with their own personal identification, customers will be able to use onsite computers to use their Canpay accounts.All that is required for this is to visit the Canpay website, partnered with Colorado-based credit union Safe Harbor Private Banking. The service is used in a total of six states for cannabis, prompting several other mainland credit unions to follow suit.
While saluted as an excellent alternative to cash, the system if depended on solely invites hackers to intercept these funds.And uncertainty hangs like the blade of Damascus for cannabis as Attorney General Jeff Sessions envisions crackdowns on cannabis across the nation. Despite states in favor of the medicinal or recreational use of cannabis, the federal government expresses interest in curtailing state policies. All the more reason companies like Visa or MasterCard remain reluctant to participate in the latest Cannabis industry needs.
Setbacks aside, credit unions at this time will cooperate in developing not only a safer and more transparent method for purchasing cannabis but allow convenience for some still left uncomfortable by the prospect. As of October 1st, eight of the dispensaries within Hawaii will enact policy and encourage patients to utilize the Canpay debit app.
Originally posted 2017-10-17 10:20:04.