Marijuana dispensaries in some U.S. states are having issues accepting credit/debit cards because banks refuse to work with them. It’s understandable, and many had suggested accepting bitcoin instead. Unfortunately, it seems like these businesses are running into yet another obstacle should they be interested in going the bitcoin route.
BitPay — the largest digital currency processor out there — is also refusing to work marijuana dispensaries, according to an email posted publicly on social sharing website Reddit.
In that message, the owner of three dispensaries in the state of Washington outlines that he has three licensed, tax-paying, and completely legal marijuana stores — and requests a re-review of his application, which was initially denied.
The response he received was to-the-point:
Unfortunately we are unable to offer our services to businesses that sell drugs. Thanks for reaching out.
When you consider the essential relationships BitPay has with their banks, it’s understandable. The company isn’t looking to get into any controversial territory as a matter of protecting their business.
That doesn’t mean these dispensaries can’t accept bitcoin. They just won’t have an easy way to instantly convert their bitcoins to USD.
It’s unclear how other players in the realm — like Coinbase — feel toward working with marijuana shops, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they too are unable to partner up.