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Marijuana Credit Card Processing

Our Top Picks for The Best Marijuana Merchant Account Providers

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. PaymentCloud
  3. eMerchantBroker

Easy Pay Direct

Working with high risk businesses is Easy Pay Directs specialty. Cannabis is not legal on a federal level, making it an extremely high risk business for banks to get involved with. Credit card payments cannot be accepted for cannabis purchases. However, debit cards can be accepted through a workaround that EPD provides. Such a workaround consists of installing a terminal at the point of sale that serves as an ATM.


PaymentCloud also works well with high risk businesses such as those in the marijuana industry. While PaymentCloud does try to offer instant approval for high risk accounts, as a marijuana distributor you will still have to jump through the hoops of the application process in order to get approved. They work with PCI compliance methods in order to help you accept payments with ease without having to worry about compliance issues. PaymentCloud will also protect you against fraud and chargebacks against your business.


Accounts can be opened with medical marijuana dispensaries from anywhere in the world. EMB will provide you with protection against fraud and chargebacks against your business. It is difficult to find merchant processors in a marijuana dispensary. EMB prides itself on being the unique solution to your unique business needs. Legal action is still a high risk though and it is important you take the steps needed in order to be sure the processor you are working with knows exactly what your business is about.

If you own or operate a cannabis-related business, it can be difficult to obtain credit card processing services. Even so, it is impossible unless you engage in some deception, which we will discuss shortly. Keep an eye on what merchant account providers are doing to ensure that you, too, have access to this service. If you're looking for useful information, you've come to the right place.

What is Marijuana Payment Processing?

The majority of people use a credit card, debit card, or something other than cash to pay for goods and services, but not everyone. A payment processing service is required to run a cannabis dispensary. Other fields work in the same way:

  1. Customers pay with their preferred non-cash payment method.
  2. In order to obtain a merchant account and payment processing services from the provider, it enters into a merchant account agreement with the provider.
  3. All sales proceeds are deposited in the merchant account, from which fees to cover the cost of their service are deducted.
  4. It is then deposited into the business's bank account, which the owner has access to.

Why do Cannabis Dispensaries Need Merchant Accounts?

Marijuana retailers require merchant accounts for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • They must be able to accept payments other than cash for the items they sell.
  • They may be able to take advantage of some of the services provided by merchant account providers, such as chargeback prevention.
  • They must ensure that the proceeds from their sales are safe and secure.
  • They must perform this function because they are responsible for safeguarding their customers' financial information and reducing the risk of fraud.

Certain cannabis businesses are exempt from the requirement to open a merchant account or use a merchant service provider to process payments. There are other options, but pursuing them may be detrimental to the company.

What are the Challenges Marijuana Businesses are Facing?

It's difficult to say right now because many people are unaware of the marijuana law. Only a few states have not legalized marijuana in some form or another. Only a few states have not legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

However, at the federal level, this has had no effect, at least not yet. Under current law, credit and debit cards are not permitted to be used to purchase marijuana. Despite the efforts of the SAFE Banking Act to change this, current laws prohibit the use of credit or debit cards for this purpose.

As a result, many dispensary owners are caught in a bind. There are, however, workarounds, and many people use them despite their dislike.

Options for Processing Payments for Cannabis Sales

If you own and operate a dispensary, whether it sells recreational or medicinal marijuana, you may have considered at least one of the following methods.

Using a Payment Aggregator

Stripe, PayPal, and Square are examples of payment aggregators, also known as payment service providers. They assist people in making and sending money. If you own a business, these companies can help you streamline the payment processing process. They're well-liked for a reason: they're a lot of fun. It only takes a few minutes to open a merchant account with them, and businesses can start accepting payments right away.

As previously stated, due to the laws discussed, each of them has very strict rules prohibiting them from working with cannabis dispensaries. That is not to say that businesses do not try; they can. While payment aggregators may be advantageous to some businesses, anyone who owns or operates a cannabis dispensary should avoid them at all costs.

Miscoding the Business

When marijuana became legal on a state level in Upstate New York, "sticker stores" sprouted up in a number of cities. Customers who purchased "stickers" at these locations would receive them. They would also receive a "free gift" of cannabis upon their departure. It was only a matter of time before these establishments couldn't accept credit or debit cards.

If you work with a payment aggregator and they suspect you of being dishonest, they can quickly disconnect you from your company's funds. Your funds may be frozen for several months. You might never be able to get it again.

This is what could happen: That is yet another way to be added to the MATCH List, which is a type of payment processing "black list." If you're on the MATCH List and it becomes legal for dispensaries to accept credit and debit cards, you might have trouble finding someone who will work with you.

Cashless ATMs

When people conduct transactions using cashless ATMs, this is referred to as "Point of Banking." It is a method of purchasing goods and services in which funds are deducted from the customer's bank account at the time of purchase. When you make a payment using an ATM, this is referred to as a point of banking.

The customer enters their bank card information and PINs. However, there is a distinction. Instead of receiving cash for the sale, the funds are deposited into the company's bank account. Several sales require participants to pay in $5 increments.

Many companies that use this method charge a convenience fee to cover the cost of the service. The popularity of point-of-sale banking is growing. Customers appreciate how simple it is, and it allows dispensaries to process payments legally.

Should You Consider an Offshore Merchant Account?

Certain payment processors can assist cannabis dispensaries in obtaining merchant accounts in countries where goods and services can be paid for.

However, because these are high-risk businesses, not all MSPs will work with them. Consider partnering with a company that offers offshore merchant accounts to companies like yours. They may, however, charge a hefty fee for their services.

Things to Think About Before Choosing a Marijuana Credit Card Processing Company

Before deciding on a cannabis merchant services provider, there are a few things to think about. Remember to take your time. Before making a decision, learn everything you can about the companies you're thinking about working with.

Your Business is Considered High Risk

Because of the variety of drugs you sell, merchant account providers view your business as risky if you own and operate a cannabis dispensary. The same holds true for comparable products such as:

  • CBD
  • Delta 8
  • Delta 9
  • Delta 10

If you sell any of those four items in the United States, you can work with an MSP.

Contract Lengths and Terms

We hope that cannabis dispensaries will soon be able to accept credit cards in the same manner as other businesses. For the time being, you may need to work with a company that can obtain an offshore merchant account or provide Point of Banking.

It is critical that you double-check the length and terms of your contract before signing it. You may be required to enter into a long-term agreement with any processor as a result of your high-risk business. In this case, a contract with a term of three to five years would be typical. Keep in mind, however, that you are not required to sign a long-term lease for your equipment. It does not have to cost a fortune.

Even if the monthly payments appear low, purchasing a POS system or card reader is far more cost-effective than leasing. These contracts can sometimes bind you for an extended period of time, and a machine that would have cost you $500 if purchased could end up costing you a lot of money.

You May Need More Than One Merchant Account

Individuals who run high-risk businesses, as well as businesses that are not, should have multiple merchant accounts. Merchant account providers can help you set up multiple accounts so that if one of them experiences a high volume of chargebacks, the majority of your business funds are not impacted.

If you're thinking about working with an MSP, ask about their load balancing capabilities. This is exactly what you should do.

How to Choose the Best Marijuana Merchant Services Provider

One of the first things you'll want to learn about is how a merchant account provider charges. There are numerous options, and each service provider has a preferred mode of operation.

  • Flat-rate pricing - While a flat-rate price may appear to be the simplest option, it may end up costing you more in the long run. This service is provided by processors who charge a single flat rate for each transaction. This is advantageous for your accounting, but the fees may be much higher than you desire.
  • Tiered pricing - A tiered pricing structure has three tiers, each with its own price: qualified, middle qualified, and unqualified. While processors that offer tiered pricing are quick to tout their qualified rates, cannabis businesses, due to their high risk, fall under the category of non-qualified businesses. These figures are much higher.
  • Interchange-plus - Interchange, plus: When it comes to pricing, this is the simplest option. Interchange rates are set twice a year. The "plus" is the amount of money added to an exchange to cover processing costs. This deal will benefit a wide range of businesses, regardless of how risky they are.

Alternative payment methods, such as surcharge programs and cash discount programs, are also available. They will not work for you until your company can accept credit cards.

Additional Pro Tips

Look for MSPs that Work with Cannabis Dispensaries

Your account will be subject to underwriting in the future. You want someone who understands what it is like to be in charge. They will be aware of all legal requirements when assisting you in setting up your account and services.

Know Your Hardware & Software Options

There are numerous ways to profit from your cannabis venture. It is not necessary to use only a POS system or a card reader. What else are you capable of?

  • Mobile card reader - If you live in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal, you might want to set up a booth at events to sell your wares. You can accomplish this with the help of a mobile card reader. In that case, you'll need a portable card reader.
  • Virtual terminal - Payments can be processed using a virtual terminal. This is a method for doing so on any device with an Internet connection. This option is preferred by businesses because it allows them to accept payments over the phone or through the mail.
  • Payment gateway - To allow customers to make purchases when selling marijuana products online, you may need to set up a payment gateway. If you also sell CBD or Delta 8, you should consider opening a store right away. A payment gateway integrates with your website's shopping cart and allows customers to purchase items directly from their computer. It's a simple task to complete.

You should contact each processor you are considering to find out what they can do to provide you with a variety of options. You also want to ensure that they will grow with your company.

Customer Service Matters

Customers can buy from you at any time of day or night if you sell your goods online. You'll want to be able to contact your MSP's customer service team if a payment fails. We recommend that you look for customer service departments that provide a variety of ways to contact them. Consider the following example:

  • An online chat option
  • A general phone number
  • An email address
  • A dedicated phone number for sales or tech support

Certain merchant account providers go so far as to ensure that all of their customers have access to the cell phones of their support staff in the event that they require additional assistance.

The Account Approval Process

You will not receive a prompt response to your account as long as you continue to work with a merchant service provider. Each company will take a different amount of time to complete this. Certain loan processors may also be able to approve you for a loan in as little as two or three business days.

Others may have to wait ten to fourteen days to get their money back. It makes no difference if you receive a response to your approval request. Calculate how long it might take.

To Wrap Up - Our Picks for the Best Marijuana Payment Processors

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. PaymentCloud
  3. eMerchantBroker

Merchant Accounts

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