Legal Cannabis Retail Innovates Its Way Around Payments Knot – pymnts.com

Legal marijuana may have a massive payments problem, but that’s not stopping retail innovation in perhaps the newest area of legitimate commerce in the U.S. and Canada.

No one would ever mistake a marijuana dispensary for a food truck, but that is what one shop in Reno, Nevada calls itself when charging customers’ credit cards.

Credit card statements will show that a purchase was made at the “Midgrun Eats LLC food truck, not at the Blüm Marijuana Dispensary,” the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

Experts on dispensaries say such labeling is the only way to get around federal banking regulations. No matter what state laws may say about marijuana, federal law still considers the drug illegal, and that means financial institutions and payment services providers are reluctant to take part in the industry.

Back Door

“It’s not even a back door, it’s more like an upper window,” Jeremy Skaff of Colorado-based Journey Business Solutions told the newspaper. Skaff is a marijuana business financial advisor.

The label allows Blüm to take credit cards in an industry that is typically cash-only. “The more options that you give people to pay, the more business you’re going to get. No one carries cash anymore,” Skaff told the news outlet. No other dispensaries in Nevada’s Washoe County take credit cards except the six Blüm shops.

Trends in legal cannabis retail are just now emerging, and fresh numbers from Colorado are providing insight into how the industry is evolving.

According to a report from CNBC, Colorado, the first state to make recreational pot legal, has hit a milestone: It has “surpassed $1 billion in total cannabis-related revenue, the first state in the country to hit that milestone. Companies also have made more than $6.5 billion in sales over the last five years, with April and May of this year the

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