COLORADO: Recreational-marijuana businesses might not be as unbanked as they claim, with dozens of stores offering patrons payment alternatives to cash — each requiring a bank account.
Whether by credit card or ATM, customers say they were pleasantly surprised to learn that the cash in their pockets wasn’t necessary to buy recreational cannabis.
“It was at the counter, like most non-marijuana retail stores,” said Rachelle Yeung, who works at the Marijuana Policy Project but didn’t know that some stores would accept her plastic.
“I did not know ahead of time but was pleasantly surprised,” she said of using her Visa card at a Lakewood store.
Visa and MasterCard have said their policy is to ensure that no illegal transactions enter their systems.
But that position has softened lately, with Visa on Monday saying it’s putting the onus on merchant banks to decide the definition of illegal.
“In offering our payment service, Visa adheres to the rule of law and seeks to prevent our network from being used for unlawful purposes,” the company said in a statement to The Denver Post.