Imagine walking into your working environment one morning and finding out that the credit card services have been terminated overnight. These were take off not for insufficient payment and not if you are associated with an illegal business, but rather they certainly were take off for indeterminate “unacceptable business practices.” This is a reality facing many owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who get “creative” with their applications; and if you fabricated your application it could be a legitimate termination – but that isn’t always the case.
Left Without Service
The story above isn’t uncommon. It happened recently to Alternative Medical Choice, Inc., a consultation service based in Oregon. What does AMC accomplish that got them in trouble with their supplier Intuit? AMC is a company that offers consultations with doctors for the approval of medical cannabis use under Oregon law. Even although clinic does not dispense or distribute medical cannabis, it’s lost its services.
Intuit states that they terminated services because AMC did not reveal its involvement with medical marijuana. When further questioned about terminating some 3000 other accounts they hold with clinics offering the exact same services, they stated that they’d not be terminating those accounts simply because they didn’t feature medical cannabis on their web pages. AMC offered to eliminate the reference, but Intuit won’t reestablish the account because “now we know.”
PayPal, the internet payment service, in addition has terminated accounts related to medical marijuana consultation references.
DEA, FDA, IOM and Other Alphabet Soup
Part of the problem businesses face stems from the question of if marijuana is clearly medicinal. The DEA and the US government hold the position that smoking marijuana doesn’t have medical value. Jungle boys clothing The American Cancer Society, the AMA and the AAP all concur that smoking isn’t an ideal method by which to gain any benefits, should they exist. Alternate types of ingestion are increasingly being investigated.
Even the large Institute of Medicine study frequently cited by proponents of medicinal marijuana actually opposes the use of smoked marijuana for medical benefits. The research discovered that there have been some “potentially therapeutic” benefits to cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, but that other available medications offered better results. The lack of standardization, the technique of dosage and other factors all result in the IOM rejecting the notion of more studies.
Where Do We Go Next?
Exactly like many other hot potatoes, few people want to deal with this one. For many who have opened dispensaries, the challenges associated with obtaining traditional financing, accounts and services have sometimes become overwhelming. For other people who remain in the business, alternatives are available.
While selling cannabis online remains illegal, the Internet is an excellent place to look for companies willing and even wanting to enter the market. By searching designed for merchant account providers knowledgeable about the risks associated with legal medical marijuana sales, entrepreneurs can find the services they require without obfuscation.
With 15 states and the District of Columbia already de-criminalizing the sale of marijuana products for medicinal purposes it is likely that the problem should come to a head soon. Some states, such as for example California, are preparing to charge dispensaries sales tax on their transactions – leaving this type of cash cow alone when state coffers are stripped bare is unimaginable. The question remains: how will the government react to the move?
Could it be About Money or Perception?
It is simple to assume the government moving in either direction.
Cannabis remains illegal in most of the world, and possession is recognized as a capital offense in lots of countries. The US government is unlikely to want global opinion to be so effected. On the other hand, the taxes provided by legalizing an already flourishing industry could reach $2-6 billion.
Unfortunately for merchants, there’s no conclusive argument at this time. Obtaining business services will remain difficult and sudden terminations likely until all government agencies, state, local and federal are on a single page.