On July 1st the medical marijuana community across the nation received another blow to their financial situation when they were officially cut off from accepting Visa or Mastercard credit or debit transactions. Electronic Merchant Systems, providing medical marijuana dispensaries with merchant accounts through a partnership with Chesapeake Bank in Virginia, announced last month to patients and dispensaries their credit cards would no longer be accepted effective July 1st.
This comes at an extremely hard time for the medical marijuana community who is currently facing tax battles with the IRS, and was also cut off from American Express last year. Due to the financial uncertainty many banks choose to not conduct in business with medical marijuana business, resulting in a hazard for the dispensaries. Although Discover Card will still be accepted, as well as many dispensaries finding loop holes through financial institutions so to continue accepting credit cards, most dispensaries will be forced to a cash only model. This increases the risk for collectives becoming the target for crime when large amounts of cash and medicine is being held on the premises at all times. Overall these new restrictions are making things more difficult, as well as dangerous, for both patients and businesses.
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