Hawaii dispensaries to use Colorado debit app as state starts cashless marijuana sales

The Aloha State could be the first in the union to move away from cash sales for the legal marijuana industry by using CanPay, a Littleton-based debit app.

staff photo
Cash. (Jericho/Wikimedia Commons)

Cash money. (Jericho/Wikimedia Commons)

Medical pot shops in Hawaii will stop accepting cash next month after they switch to using a Littleton-based debit app to handle sale transactions, the Associated Press reported.

The Aloha State could be the first in the union to move away from cash sales for the legal marijuana industry by using CanPay, an app that’s already available in six states including California and Colorado, according to the AP. CanPay’s primary partner is Safe Harbor Private Banking, a division of Partner Colorado Credit Union.

Hawaii won’t allow dispensaries to accept cash starting Oct. 1. Officials hope the switch will deter robberies and other crimes typically associated with pot shops, according to the AP.

Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, the banking industry has by and large not provided credit cards, checks or other services to marijuana businesses to avoid criminal and civil liability. That’s forced the marijuana industry in Colorado and other states to operate on a cash-only basis.

Hawaii legislators became the first in the U.S. to allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana back in 2000, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Recreational use is not legal on the islands, but advocates are pushing for the state to join the growing list of places that allow recreational sales.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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