Banks tend to follow the laws of the federal government, even when it comes to states where cannabis has been legalized. Not only does growing, selling and consuming cannabis violate federal law; handling the proceeds of any related transactions is as well. Very few banks are willing to take the risk. Nevertheless, the state of cannabis payment processing is hopeful.
Not being able to access banking pretty much requires that businesses operate on a “cash-only” basis. People know cash; they get how it works. However, this is a huge pain for cannabis businesses attempting to modernize. Because of the aforementioned banking difficulties, businesses are forced to store hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash (along with product). This is an insane security risk.
Running on a cash-only basis ultimately increases the cost of running your business because you will need to pay for added security and transport. Cash is tough and inconvenient for customers as well; cannabis is one of the few industries that demand the use of cash, and it’s no secret that ATM fees will eat a major hole in your wallet.