To the frustration of those seeking to help cannabis-related businesses transact, marijuana continues to be illegal at the federal level. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized the sale of cannabis products for medicinal and/or recreational purposes. Federal agents have not clamped down on marijuana use in those locales, but they don't need to do that to make life difficult for businesses in that vertical. The banking system does it for them. Federally insured banks and credit unions that service the industry face an extremely high regulatory barrier with strict monitoring and reporting requirements. Most choose not to bother. Also, Visa and Mastercard don't allow cannabis-related transactions to ride their rails, and they're clamping down on workarounds clever entrepreneurs have devised.
This issue's lead article checks in with enterprises doing business in the cannabis vertical and those helping them accept electronic payments to find out what the latest developments and challenges are and what they are doing to address them.
Challenges, of course, are an inherent part of payments. One expert contributor addresses the challenge of a new MCC created for gun and ammunition sales, which will require more vigilance than routine MCC additions. Other industry leaders share insights within these pages on the reasons why merchants are turning to surcharging and how they can make their surcharging programs compliant with state laws and card brand rules; the importance of scrutinizing the Schedule A when signing with a new partner; the benefits of cash funding for merchants; the growth of digital commerce; key trends shaping today's payments revolution; and why kiosks are an ideal solution for travel and entertainment businesses hit hard by the COVID pandemic and in its aftermath.
In addition to updates on milestones in the payments community, highlighted news stories include coverage of a lawsuit filed against Block Inc., Square's parent company, for breach of its Cash App Investing service; notice of the 2022 Inc. 5000 honorees; a proposed class action lawsuit challenging Apple's control of the tap-and-pay iOS mobile wallet market; an upcoming meeting of ETA representatives with federal policymakers on Capitol Hill; and the new MCC for gun and ammunition sales. Plus, we've included product and company profiles, along with resources for those seeking partnerships and services in the payments community.
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