Hawaii to use cashless payment system for marijuana sales
Posted September 13
Honolulu, Hawaii — Hawaii's medical cannabis dispensaries are going cash free.
Tuesday, State officials announced beginning October 1, Hawaii will be the first state to abandon the green when buying medical cannabis.
While marijuana is legal for medical use in Hawaii, the feds still consider it a drug. It's something that's been a problem for many banks and credit unions, and the reason why Cannabis businesses have been cash only.
Now, the new payment system will be the nation's first and only cashless banking solution for medical marijuana dispensaries.
"This cash-free solution makes sense. It makes dispensary's finances transparent, and it makes it easier for the patients who are being served." Said Governor David Ige.
Instead of cash, patients will have to use a mobile app called CanPay.
"You download it on your smartphone. It will link up to a checking account and you will get a QR code. With that code you are able to use that at the dispensary," said Iris Ikeda, Financial Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit Union, Safe Harbor Private Banking, to facilitate transactions.
"They link it securely to their checking account. It takes less than five minutes and they only have to do it one time and then when they want to make a payment in the store, it's also very simple. They open the CanPay app using their email address and four-digit pin." Explained CEO of CanPay, Dustin Eide.
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs says it hoped to eliminate dispensary robberies.
Hawaii's eight dispensaries will have to go cash-less by October 1. Maui Grown Therapies and Aloha Green have already begun.
"It's a great benefit for the community and for patients. It really does help with our security and the concerns that we have when it comes to employee safety as well as the safety of the dispensary itself and everyone inside." said Chief Operating Officer of Aloha Green, Tai Cheng.
One patient using the app is already a fan.
"It's going to keep us from having to carry a certain amount of cash in our pockets. I don't like carrying cash especially if it's over $20." explained patient Eliza Sprague.
The cashless system will also allow dispensaries to set up direct deposits for employee payroll, collect taxes, and make payments to vendors.
CanPay is free for patients to use, and is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
For those without a smartphone, you'll still be able to find tablets connected to the app in dispensaries.