Imagine walking into your office one morning and discovering that the bank card services had been terminated overnight. They were cut off not for insufficient payment and not if you are involved in an illegal business, but alternatively these were cut off for indeterminate “unacceptable business practices.” This can be a reality facing many owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who get “creative” with their applications; and if you fabricated your application it can be a legitimate termination – but that isn’t always the case.
Left Without Service
The story above isn’t uncommon. It simply happened recently to Alternative Medical Choice, Inc., a consultation service located in Oregon. What does AMC accomplish that got them in big trouble with their supplier Intuit? AMC is a business which provides consultations with doctors for the approval of medical cannabis use under Oregon law. Even although the clinic doesn’t dispense or distribute medical cannabis, it has lost its services.
Intuit states 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 same services, they stated that they’d not be terminating those accounts since they didn’t feature medical cannabis on the web pages. AMC offered to get rid of the reference, but Intuit won’t reestablish the account because “now we know.”
PayPal, the online payment service, in addition has terminated accounts connected with medical marijuana consultation references.
DEA, FDA, IOM and Other Alphabet Soup
Area of the problem businesses face stems from the question of whether marijuana is in fact medicinal. The DEA and the US government hold the position that smoking marijuana doesn’t have medical value. The American Cancer Society, the AMA and the AAP all agree totally that smoking is not an ideal method by which to gain any benefits, when they exist. Alternate ways of ingestion are 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 found that there were some “potentially therapeutic” benefits to cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, but that other available medications offered better results. The possible lack of standardization, the strategy of dosage and other factors all lead to the IOM rejecting the notion of more studies.
Where Do We Go Next?
The same as a number of other hot potatoes, few people want to take care of this one. For those who have opened dispensaries, the challenges involved in obtaining traditional financing, accounts and services have sometimes become overwhelming. Jungle boys clothing For other individuals who remain available, alternatives are available.
While selling cannabis online remains illegal, the Internet is a good place to find companies willing and even wanting to enter the market. By searching designed for merchant account providers knowledgeable about the risks involved in legal medical marijuana sales, entrepreneurs can find the services they might 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 will come to a head soon. Some states, such as for instance California, are preparing to charge dispensaries sales tax on their transactions – leaving this kind of cash cow alone when state coffers are stripped bare is unimaginable. The question remains: how will the government react to the move?
Can it be About Money or Perception?
It is easy to assume the federal government moving in either direction.
Cannabis remains illegal in all 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 one other hand, the taxes supplied by legalizing a currently flourishing industry could reach $2-6 billion.
Unfortunately for merchants, there is no conclusive argument as of 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.