Cannabis businesses in the US have to operate using large amounts of cash as they have no ability to access bank accounts, accept credit cards, or write checks. That’s a logistical headache and constant security threat, at least that is their complain. Now, they turn to bitcoin for salvation. Marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska and the District of Columbia. The sale of pot is also approved in 20 additional states for medical purposes only.
RT reports that statistics from financial services firm Cowen & Co showed legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year, and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026. Financial-technology startups, such as POSaBIT and SinglePoint, use bitcoin as an intermediate step that lets pot buyers use their bank-issued credit cards to purchase weed.
“There’s no industry – whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee -that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services,” Jon Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT, whose technology is used by 30 dispensaries in Washington state, told Bloomberg.
“That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.”
According to POSaBIT, the company has taken steps to comply with federal and state laws regulating both marijuana sales and digital currency. Customers have to present a valid ID that is scanned, encrypted and stored, while buyers are allowed to acquire no more than $150 in…Read More