About Dispensary Payment Processing

With the legalization of cannabis gaining momentum across the U.S., the industry is becoming a prosperous addition to the retail space. In fact, it is predicted to grow to $30 billion by 2025, and that growth has seen retailers rushing to take advantage of this boom, opening eCommerce and brick-and-mortar dispensaries where cannabis is legal on the state level.

However, as with any relatively new industry, the cannabis space has its share of challenges to overcome. Specifically, such businesses are still figuring out how to operate financially while remaining in compliance with multiple levels of government. Because cannabis is still a Schedule I-controlled substance at the federal level, there are numerous regulations in place wherever it is legal to sell this substance.

Traditional banks are not yet equipped to handle the federal and state regulations surrounding cannabis, making it difficult for cannabis companies to obtain small business loans or process transactions through these institutions.

That is also why cannabis is not currently eligible for purchase using credit cards. Although many Americans use this method of payment for its convenience, the fact that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level prevents credit card companies from accepting payments for this substance — even in places where it is legal at the state level.

Although taking this payment method off the table can be inconvenient for some, there are several other ways cannabis companies can effectively process payments. This guide will delve into each one so that your business can better understand its options.


With credit card purchases off the table, cash is one of the simplest and most obvious methods of payment that can be used to purchase cannabis.

However, returning to the days of “cash is king” does present some obstacles and considerations for your company. For one, physical cash payments tend to be less secure and more prone to miscalculations than payments made digitally.

Unfortunately, cash can also decrease sales at your store, since customers can only spend the money they have on hand. Many brick-and-mortar dispensaries install ATM machines to address this challenge, but it still offers less convenience than accepting a card.

Another consideration is that eCommerce cannabusinesses hardly use cash as payment, given their payments must be accepted online. Online businesses are limited to the other types of legal payments on this list.

Debit Cards

Although credit cards cannot be used as payment for cannabis, debit cards can, making them a relatively safe compromise for companies and customers looking to streamline the payment process.

Because debit cards only allow customers to spend funds that are physically available, customers will still be limited to using only the funds available to them. Still, it presents a faster, simpler payment method that is easier to track.

ACH/Bank Transfers

Despite the convenience of debit cards, many cannabis companies have yet to start accepting them. For those businesses, using Automated Clearing House (ACH) or bank transfers has proven effective for accepting and processing electronic payments. ACH enables customers to move funds from their bank account directly to another—including that of a cannabis company.

ACH payments are secure and reliable. Because they can be done electronically, companies do not need to worry about the money not being available. Much like debit payments, transfers can only be made using existing funds.

The only requirement to make ACH payments possible is a third-party provider, which a dispensary will need to enlist in order to set this system up. Given its convenience and popularity, however, it is a worthwhile investment.

Using Crypto

Cryptocurrency is another method of accepting payment, though it is not the most common—or the most popular for that matter. Although crypto is becoming more commonplace in today’s economy, it could be a long time before it receives adoption on a wider scale.

Crypto offers a digital payment method, but customers may not want to assume the risk of placing money in a currency they may not be comfortable with. With crypto, there are also few regulatory options for addressing problems when they arise.

Your cannabis company can certainly consider accepting crypto as a form of payment; however, it is best not to depend solely on this method. That would risk reducing the number of customers able to purchase your products, which is not something any business wants.


Can you pay for cannabis with a debit card?

Some dispensaries have the option of paying with a debit card, and most dispensaries offering this option will charge a service fee. The transaction for purchasing cannabis products is very similar to other forms of credit card processing for both the dispensary staff and customer. The customer will enter their card into the credit card terminal to make the transaction. Many dispensaries using debit card processing will round up the purchase amount to the next dollar, and they will return the difference in cash form to you.

Debit card processing is one of the easier options for dispensaries, but relying solely on debit card processing limits potential revenue. Customers are limited to the amount of funds accessible in their debit account. For this reason, many dispensaries use debit card processing with credit card processing in order to optimize revenue.

If you have questions about cannabis debit processing, our team of experts will help you with your questions. To learn more, fill out a contact form or call us at 844.471.2078. The Paybotic team would be happy to chat about solutions to support your cannabis dispensary success!

Why can’t you use credit cards at dispensaries?

Since cannabis is still federally illegal, many banks do not offer services to cannabis businesses. The federal legal status means many banking institutions will not take the risk involved in supporting services for cannabis businesses.

Many cannabis businesses cannot deposit their cash revenue in a bank, which negatively impacts their security and efficiency processes. Currently each state and business follow different policies, so it is best to research current policy in your state. In addition, you should learn about any county or municipal policies that impact dispensary practices in your region.
To learn more, fill out a contact form or call us at 844.471.2078. The Paybotic team would be happy to chat about solutions to support your cannabis dispensary success!

What is a cannabis payment processor?

A cannabis payment processor is a system or solution for processing dispensary purchases. Some common processor solutions include debit card processing, eCheck and e-commerce processing. Effective cannabis payment processors are secure, convenient and compliant for customers. Transparency is also important, because tracking is important in the highly regulated cannabis industry. Our systems ensure safety and convenience for your customers. Cannabis card processing reduces chargebacks and fraudulent activity, so it offers greater protection to a business.

If you have questions about cannabis payment processing solutions, our team of experts will help you with your questions and connect you with the best partners to fulfill your cannabis payment processing needs. To learn more, fill out a contact form or call us at 844.471.2078. The Paybotic team would be happy to chat about solutions to support your cannabis dispensary success!

Is Paybotic safe and reliable for cannabis businesses?

Yes, Paybotic offers safe, easy solutions for cannabis businesses. We offer customers secure, convenient, transparent, and scalable services. Paybotic is secure and their e-commerce processing solutions are encrypted to protect the customer’s and vendor’s identities. These services adhere to payment compliance regulations relevant to your business and payment platforms. They are designed to accommodate the future growth and complexity of your business.

If you have questions about our secure cannabis payment processing solutions, Paybotic team members will help you with your questions and connect you with the best partners to fulfill your cannabis payment processing needs.

To learn more, fill out a contact form or call us at 844.471.2078. The Paybotic team would be happy to chat about solutions to support your cannabis dispensary success!

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