Cashless Payment System Proposed for Ohio Medical Marijuana Program

Ohio could be the first medical marijuana state to fix the industry's cash-only situation.

Half the states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana but the federal government still considers it among the most dangerous drugs. Banks, credit unions and credit card companies are reluctant to provide services to legal marijuana businesses because of uncertainty from federal regulators, leaving most businesses to operate as cash-only.

Ohio's new medical marijuana law proposes a new way around the bank problem. The law allows state officials to set up a "closed loop" payment processing system, similar to prepaid debit and gift cards.

Sen. Bill Coley, who proposed that part of the law, said it will alleviate security concerns associated with securing and transporting large amounts of cash and prevent illegal drug suppliers from abusing Ohio's program.

The Southwest Ohio Republican told attendees at a medical marijuana conference here Thursday that state...

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