No one would ever mistake a marijuana dispensary for a food truck, but that is what one shop in Reno, NV calls itself when charging customers’ credit cards.
Experts on dispensaries say such labeling is the only way to get around federal banking regulations.
“It’s not even a back door, it’s more like an upper window,” Jeremy Skaff of Colorado-based Journey Business Solutions told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Skaff is a marijuana business financial advisor.
The label allows Blüm to take credit cards in an industry that is typically cash-only.
“The more options that you give people to pay, the more business you’re going to get. No one carries cash anymore.” Skaff told the news outlet.
No other dispensaries in Nevada’s Washoe County take credit cards except the six Blüm shops.
Blüm representatives declined to comment, the report said.
Federal regulations prevent financial institutions and other payment companies from serving up options to pay to the legal weed industry.
With many in the industry anticipating federal-level legalization of the cannabis market, the sector remains with one foot in state-level regulation and one foot in the shadow market.
Misconceptions are keeping banks, credit unions and payment service providers on the sidelines and prevent them from doing the homework needed to prepare for the industry’s future growth.
Despite payment obstacles, the industry continues to grow. Cannabis operator Curaleaf Holdings announced July 18 it will acquire GR Companies (“Grassroots”), the largest private vertically integrated multi-state operator.
The $875 million cash and stock deal will make Curaleaf the world’s largest cannabis company by revenue, and the largest in the U.S.
Grassroots has a portfolio of 61 dispensary licenses, with 20 currently operating, and 17 cultivation and processing licenses. The transaction will expand Curaleaf’s presence from 12 to 19 states, and the combined company will have 131 dispensary licenses, 68 operational locations, 20 cultivation sites and 26 processing facilities.