Pre-paid debit cards for pot shops may very well mean salvation for the current financial conundrum surrounding the marijuana industry.
Ever since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado earlier this year, dispensaries have been forced to operate as a cash-only business. This, of course, has created a risky situation, a veritable crapshoot that ultimately threatens the security of those operating inside the state’s newfound billion-dollar cannabis commerce.
And while the Obama Administration has supposedly cleared financial institutions to deal with marijuana businesses, many banks simply refuse to even consider these types of dealings until federal laws are modified -- declassifying marijuana as a Schedule I dangerous substance.
In the meantime, a company by the name of Fast Funds Financial has come up with a seemingly brilliant concept they believe will assist the cannabis industry in providing safe and secure transactions: The Marijuana Smart Card.
Henry Fong, chairman and CEO of Fast Funds, says their pre-paid smart card will work similar to how gift cards from Starbucks and other major retail chains operate. Customers will be able to purchase the cards from their pot shop of choice and fill them with money whenever they wish.
“This smart card technology will allow retail store owners to load a custom card with a cash balance. By loading the smart card, the store owner can eventually reduce the amount of cash carried into the store by the retailer's customers,” according to a press release.
Although the idea of a pre-paid weed card sounds like a clever way to bypass the government’s current regulations, Fong says the technology is meant to be more of a transitional option for an industry in need.
Fong says, the pre-paid card was recently tested at a medical marijuana dispensary in California and was well received. The company now plans to spend the next few months testing the card in Colorado, with hopes of eventually taking it nationwide.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.