Hawaii was one of the earliest states to adopt a medical marijuana program nearly 17 years ago, though the first license was awarded to a dispensary only last year. Now that the medical marijuana program is underway, lawmakers have decided Hawaii's going to be the first state to require cashless sales. Most states with legal marijuana are cash only due to banks not wanting to break federal law and accept marijuana money, however a debit app has been developed to be used from a phone or in-store computer called CanPay. Six other states are already allowing the use of CanPay for sales, and it seems the trend is growing. Cash only marijuana dispensaries attract a lot of unwanted attention due to the large amounts being kept inside the store, but requiring the use of CanPay takes away the worry for both the consumer and the owners.
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.
The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. Some mainland credit unions have opened accounts for cannabis businesses.
Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000 but the state didn’t grant licenses to any dispensaries until last year. Maui Grown Therapies became the first to open last month after the state Department of Health gave it approval to begin sales.