One of the most challenging aspects to entering the cannabis industry is in relation to how marijuana businesses –dispensaries, retail shops, and growers- do their banking. Due to cannabis’ Schedule I status, it is illegal for banks to finance these types of businesses. And, although President Obama announced that banks in Colorado and Washington are free to work with pot shops, many are still avoiding cannabis altogether.
Because of this, most transactions are done using cash. But, where does this leave consumers and businesses?
If you’ve ever bought or sold cannabis (legally or illegally) the uncertainty is always in the back of your head. Both parties run the risk of robbery and theft but the risks are even higher on the business end. Imagine running a business selling an extremely profitably and highly demanded product that is still considered illegal. This leaves owners with tens of thousands of dollars in cash at the mercy of any lunatic with a gun.
According to James Dornbrook of the Kansas City Business Journal, the system “takes cash out of human hands. It handles all sales, accepting the cash and locking it into a kiosk that is as strong as an ATM. The system records each transaction, ensuring that the money is tracked, the accounting is accurate and the proper taxes are collected.”
Until the federal government gets its act together and re-schedules cannabis, the “cannakiosk” idea seems poised for great commercial success.