Hawaii says it’s first state to go cashless for pot sales

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii stated Tuesday that it goals to be the primary state to have marijuana gross sales dealt with with out money, saying it needed to keep away from robberies and different crimes concentrating on dispensaries.

All of Hawaii’s eight licensed dispensaries have agreed to go cashless by Oct. 1, the governor’s workplace stated. The dispensaries will ask sufferers to make use of a debit cost app to purchase their pot as an alternative of money. The app is already an choice for marijuana transactions in six states, together with California and Colorado.

Iris Ikeda, the state’s monetary establishments commissioner, advised reporters at a information convention that state officers haven’t mentioned whether or not individuals eager to pay in money will probably be turned away from dispensaries.

“Oct. 1 is our goal date to attempt to go cashless as a lot as we will,” Ikeda stated.

Helen Cho, director of the Honolulu-based mostly Aloha Inexperienced dispensary, stated dispensaries gained’t be required to go cashless and the corporate gained’t flip away sufferers who need to pay in money. The dispensary can be encouraging individuals to make use of the cashless system, she stated.

Many marijuana companies use money as a result of banks worry pot cash might expose them to authorized hassle from the U.S. authorities, which regulates banking and nonetheless bans marijuana.

The debit app referred to as CanPay makes use of a Colorado-based mostly credit score union to facilitate transactions. The Hawaii dispensaries will arrange accounts with the credit score union, referred to as Protected Harbor Personal Banking.

Underneath the cashless system, clients use their checking accounts to pay CanPay, which sends the cost to Protected Harbor.

Hawaii was nonetheless engaged on permitting pay as you go, saved-worth playing cards for use an alternate for individuals who don’t have checking accounts, Ikeda stated.

Becky Dansky, legislative counsel at Marijuana Coverage Challenge, a Washington-based mostly group that goals to vary federal regulation to permit states to find out their very own marijuana insurance policies, stated it’s good to seek out options to coping with giant quantities of money.

However she stated it’s a priority that Hawaii’s program will depend on one particular system, given the dangers of a hacker assault or an organization going out of enterprise.

Hawaii was among the many first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. However the state didn’t grant licenses to any dispensaries till final yr. Maui Grown Therapies turned the primary to open final month after the state Division of Well being gave it approval to start gross sales.

Through the Obama administration, the Justice Division issued tips to assist banks keep away from federal prosecution when coping with pot companies in states the place the drug is authorized.

However most banks don’t see these guidelines as a defend towards fees that would embrace aiding drug trafficking. They are saying the principles are troublesome to comply with, putting the burden on banks to find out if a pot enterprise is working inside the regulation.

There’s additionally uncertainty over how the Trump administration will react. Lawyer Basic Jeff Periods has stated he needs to crack down on the authorized…

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