Banking is a big hurdle for dispensaries and their parent companies in the U.S.
Visa and MasterCard can’t work with the cannabis industry because that would expose the financial institutions to the risk of federal prosecution. However the SAFT Banking Act, which would make banking more available to the cannabis industry, passed the House of Representatives in October 2019—but the bill was then held up by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who as of February 3, 2020 hadn’t yet advanced the Senate version of the bill.
As the cannabis industry grows, its shortage of financial services is causing a strain. The legal cannabis market could be worth $29 billion by 2025, according to research firm New Frontier Data. Some in the cryptocurrency market think that blockchain technology could provide the industry with an alternative commerce system. The hope would be for customers to pay for cannabis products at a kiosk using cryptocurrency rather than cash.
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