According to the fine reporting over at Marijuana Business Daily, several hundred medical and recreational dispensaries’ cashless ATM’s were cut off early Wednesday. The problems were reported by anonymous sources said to be very close to the situation, with one of them saying as many as 400 shops could be effected.
Reportedly, most of the shops cut off are recreational shops in Colorado and Washington, although there are medical only facilities who were effected as well. None of the businesses were given any notice of the termination, most finding out by the machines just shutting down. None one on record is keen to the actual reasons why services were shut off, but one source stated many of the accounts are associated with MetaBank.
Marijuana Business Daily details cashless ATM’s very clearly:
Cashless ATMs are PIN-based systems that allow patients to use their debit cards or get a cash advance on their credit cards, which can then be used to pay for cannabis. The card charges are recorded as withdrawals, without specifying what the money is used to purchase.
It goes without saying the massive amount of stress this puts stores owners under. If you are not aware, in Colorado and Washington it’s nearly expected you can use your debit card at almost every dispensary and if you can’t, it sucks. Kayvan Khalatbari, co-founder of Denver Relief in Colorado elaborated, “We’ve had to move to all-cash today. It was pretty frustrating. We lost some business when that went down and customers didn’t have any cash on them.”
There is a lot of speculation as to why this has occurred, from the traditional federal government pressure to abuse of the system by dispensaries misappropriating their businesses for additional benefits and anonymity. As this seems to be a fairly geographically concentrated issue in the recreational market, I would imagine the latter will be the reason to blame when all the facts come out.
Photo Credit: Tri City Herald