Hawaii Plans to Be First Cashless Cannabis State

State officials announced Tuesday that Hawaii will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash, saying they want to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning as soon as Oct. 1 and will require people to use a debit payment app instead. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.

Iris Ikeda, the state’s financial institutions commissioner, told reporters at a news conference that state officials haven’t discussed whether people wanting to pay in cash will be turned away from dispensaries.

“Oct. 1 is our target date to try to go cashless as much as we can,” Ikeda said.

Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government, which regulates banking and still bans marijuana.

The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. Some mainland credit unions have opened accounts for cannabis businesses.

Hawaii was still working on allowing prepaid, stored-value cards to be used an alternative for people who don’t have checking accounts, Ikeda said. [Read more at Honolulu Civil Beat]

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Source: Cannabis Business Executive