Marijuana Dispensary Merchant Services

marijuana dispensary merchant servicesJust about all cannabis dispensaries in the US have faced non-cash payment challenges with their businesses over the past 5 years. Many still operate as cash-only businesses.

In the past, some of these businesses were lucky enough to have marijuana dispensary merchant services in place enabling them to accept and process customer credit card payments just like any standard swiped transaction. However, that all came to an abrupt end in July 2012.

That July, the last bank that offered these services stopped doing so. Overnight, these marijuana dispensaries lost their ability to offer credit card processing services. This value added convenience to customers would be on hold indefinitely.

Cannabis Card Processing Post July 2012

After that day in July, credit card processors worked to develop and deliver alternative marijuana dispensary merchant services solutions.

These solutions ranged from risky offshore merchant accounts to closed-loop systems that operated like electronic bank accounts.


While offshore solutions operate much like a traditional credit card processing solution, in which the customer swipes their card through a countertop terminal, having an account with an offshore card processor can be a gamble.

Not only do offshore merchant services solutions have high rates and high reserve requirements, there are no guarantees on a merchant’s funds.

Closed loop…

The closed loop systems (that are still around) serve as an electronic banking platform for merchants and consumers.

In the closed loop, merchants are provided with an account in which they can add funds and issue magnetic stripe cards to customers. Customers can and funds to their card using any credit card and then use that card to make purchases at the dispensary.

The problem with this system are the fees for the merchant to transfer funds in and out of the account as well as fees for customers to add funds to their cards.

PIN Based Debit…

PIN based debit, also known as “cashless ATM” has proven to be one of the best non-cash payment solutions available to dispensaries since traditional merchant services for marijuana dispensaries disappeared in 2012.

With no merchant fees for the dispensary and only a small convenience fee for the customer, it’s obvious why dispensary owners love it.

This solution saves the dispensary thousands of dollars in monthly processing fees. The only drawback to this solution is that customers can pay using major credit card brands but they must know their PIN.

Cannabis Card Processing Post July 2017

Through one of our processing and banking partners, The Transaction Group has a true credit card processing solution for dispensaries in the United States.

This new solution was developed to be compliant with the laws and regulations of the US Treasury (FINCEN compliant).

Best of all, there are:

  • No setup fees
  • No monthly fees
  • No reserves
  • No equipment fees
  • No contracts or early termination fees

Customers can conveniently pay using any of the 4 major credit card brands. At checkout, the customer swipes their credit card through a card reader just like any retail transaction.

The credit card swiping equipment is provided by the bank at no cost. An app compatible with IOS and android allows dispensaries and delivery services to process customer credit cards both in a store and in the comforts of the customer’s home.

If you’re interested in learning more about our new marijuana dispensary merchant services solutions, please contact us today at 800-383-8056.