Cash-Only Marijuana: California Dispensaries Being Forced To Refuse Credit Cards
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, July, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
To most people, the idea of charging a dime bag on your Visa might sound like a half-baked scheme from Pineapple Express, but new pressure from the federal government is set to make medical marijuana a cash-only business in California.
SF Weekly's "The Snitch" blog reports that merchant service providers -- the middle men that process credit card transactions between vendors and companies like Visa and Mastercard -- are being strong-armed into refusing payments from pot dispensaries starting this month.
Stephen DeAngelo, executive director of the Harborside Health Center, a marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif., told the East Bay Express the push from the credit card companies is likely the result of pressure from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The new policy would be consistent with a wider federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, which has included high-profile raids, including one in Oakland that seized more than $1 million in cannabis in April.
While some Bay Area dispensaries have always been cash-only, some are concerned that the new rules may marginalize low-income consumers, or heighten the risk associated with procuring medical marijuana.
"A medical marijuana customer is now a guaranteed cash-carrying target for petty criminals," SF Weekly wrote.
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