Using credit cards and debit cards to purchase (medical or recreational) marijuana from dispensaries is becoming more prevalent lately.
This is because the credit card companies and merchant processors are overlooking loopholes and/or not enforcing company rules (which are to abide by the federal law, which states that marijuana and the transaction of it are illegal).
Visa stated that it follows federal laws and tries to prevent its network from being used unlawfully. It also added that “given the federal government’s position, and recognizing this is an evolving legal matter with different standards applicable in different states, our local merchant acquirers are best suited to make any determination about potential illegality.”
In other words, dispensaries can obtain a credit card merchant processing account to make card transactions, but they’ll have to be very careful with the terminology used on their application.
Lance Ott of Guardian Data Systems, a small business ATM and credit-card processor, does not believe the credit card companies have eased up at all. He thinks that dispensaries are taking advantage of loopholes, such as mis-coding their business category as general health businesses. He said the card companies have not yet loosened their standards.
One thing is certain, as soon as one major credit card company and one major bank decide to accept legal marijuana-related businesses as clients, those companies are going to make a fortune and they will probably open the floodgates for other card companies and banks wanting into the marijuana industry.