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Ohio Proposes An Innovative Medical Marijuana Payment System


The 28th state in the US to legalize marijuana for medical use has just announced a new marijuana payment processing system unlike any other. State officials want to make the market a “closed loop” system. In other words, they want patients to register for pre-paid debit cards.

Similar to gift cards, these pre-paid cards would allow customers to reload the cards with cash or credit funds at any state-licensed agency or liquor store. Officials hope that this will overcome the financial hurdles surrounding the still federally illegal business.

Because of these legal issues, many dispensaries run on cash-only transactions. This becomes a risk for marijuana businesses trying to pay bills, taxes and their employees payroll. The large amounts of cash dispensaries have on hand is sometimes kept in insecure places. Leaving dispensaries the possible targets of theft and crime.


This new system would include the dispensaries, cultivators and other marijuana businesses. It would supply them with accounts for their bills and transactions. This could be a costly system to implement and would likely cost the taxpayers money to setup.

“We are just beginning the process to set up Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, and no decisions around a closed-loop payment system have been made at this time,” Kerry Francis, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce, said. “Also, there haven’t been any decisions around banking regulations.”

This innovative payment processing system could be a welcome and efficient change for the marijuana industry if applied accurately. Since little to no banks will work with marijuana companies, there is definitely a need in the industry.

Now the Ohio Department of Commerce will be responsible for establishing the system. They will have the final decision on whether or not to pass the proposal. Regardless, the idea has risen concerns about the financial difficulties that lie ahead in the state of Ohio.

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