Cashless Marijuana Industry? Hawaii Aims to Be the First
Hawaii said Tuesday that it aims to be the first state to have marijuana sales handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries.
All of Hawaii's eight licensed dispensaries have agreed to go cashless by Oct. 1, the governor's office said. The dispensaries will ask patients to use a debit payment app to buy their pot instead of cash. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
Iris Ikeda, the state's financial institutions commissioner, told reporters at a news conference that state officials haven't discussed whether people wanting to pay in cash will be turned away from dispensaries.
"Oct. 1 is our target date to try to go cashless as much as we can," Ikeda said.
Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government, which regulates banking and still bans marijuana.