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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 22, 2021 • Issue 21:02:02

Readers Speak: Will cannabis merchants come out of the shadows now?

I've heard the new presidential administration may push to legalize or at least de-criminalize marijuana. This would simplify things greatly for cannabis merchants' payment processing. But it doesn't appear there are many options for agents looking to serve this market. What can you tell me about the current status and prospects for the cannabis market right now.

Roy Graham, Merchant Level Salesperson


Thank you for your question about prospects in the cannabis sphere. Right now, the page listing priorities for the Biden-Harris administration, www.whitehouse.gov/priorities, doesn't mention cannabis. On the list are COVID-19, climate, racial equality, the economy, health care, immigration, and America's global standing. Given the pressing nature of those items, it's impossible to predict when or if legislators to decriminalize or legalize marijuana will be introduced. So, the payments industry will remain on uncertain ground when it comes to serving cannabis retailers.

In 2019 and 2020, we published a number of articles on payment processing for the cannabis market, as follows:

  • "Legal pot sales: a billion-dollar opportunity," by Max Miller, published Dec. 28, 2020, issue 20:12:02
  • "Cannabis dispensary support amid COVID-19 and beyond," by Max Miller, published May 11, 2020, issue 20:05:01
  • "Ecmmerce opportunities abound in cannabis market," by Max Miller, published March 9, 2020, issue 20:03:01
  • "Outlook brightens for cannabis banking," by Patti Murphy, published Nov. 25, 2019, issue 19:11:02

Another good resource is the MLS Forum, which MLSs can join after registering on our website, www.greensheet.com. A recent thread in the forum titled "Processing for Mary Jane" discusses current issues MLSs are facing.

Thanks again for your question, and good luck to you.


What markets are for you in 2021?

Do you want to explore a new market this year? Do you have a promising vertical to recommend to your colleagues in the payments community? How about a new trend or issue you want to discuss? We want to hear from you. Please get in touch at greensheet@greensheet.com. end of article

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