Written by Michael Geslani for Merry Jane.
After Ohio became the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana, plans to implement the new law have caused state officials to become concerned about the financial hurdles that lie ahead.
State officials have proposed a “closed-loop” payment processing system that is similar to pre-paid debit or gift cards.
The system would require that MMJ patients and registered caregivers put money into special accounts, using checks, credit cards or cash at state-licensed liquor stores, or a state agency.
The state’s proposal comes amid concerns with how money is handled at marijuana companies with almost all of them running with cash-only transactions. These companies turn around and use the cash to pay bills, taxes and their employees and are forced to keep the cash in unsafe places. This endangers employees and customers because most banks, credit unions and credit card companies are reluctant to do business with them because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.