Paying for pot: Card company addresses high priority for marijuana industry

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)—Paying and accepting cash for “legal” marijuana transactions isn’t easy, or safe for that matter. But prepaid debit card processor Global Payout Inc. GOHE, +8.70%  is aiming to change that with a payment system unveiled Wednesday that’s exclusively for Mary Jane.

In the marijuana industry, even in the more than 20 states where recreational and/or medical marijuana is legal or decriminalized, cash is the sole method of payment between buyers and sellers. That creates both danger and inconvenience for producers and retailers, according to Global Payout Chief Executive Jim Hancock, as they are forced to handle large amounts of cash.

Under federal law, marijuana is still considered a schedule I drug—the most dangerous category—along with heroin and LSD. That has quite naturally discouraged federally chartered banks from doing business with marijuana retailers.

Global Payout is planning to work with state chartered banks in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal,...

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