- Annual sales of regulated cannabis are expected to be $22.7 billion in U.S. by 2023, and the industry operates largely in cash, posing an enormous public safety concern for operators, employees, vendors, and others. (ChicagoBusiness.com – Jun 26, 2019)
- The cash-only environment puts an additional burden on state and local government agencies that must collect tax and fee payments, in person and in cash, incurring additional public expenses and employee safety risks. (Governor’s Letter to House Committee on Financial Services, Jun 13, 2019)
- Under the current legislative, regulatory, and tax scenario – even in the states where cannabis is medically and recreationally legal – the majority of sales are still unregulated and cash based. (Forbes examples of up to 80% of sales being black market. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinmurphy/2019/04/04/cannabis-black-market-problem/#948e0ee134f3 )
- Despite mounting public acceptance — legal medical and/or recreational cannabis programs are now in place in 33 states plus the District of Columbia — few or no banking services are available to the cannabis market, even in states like Illinois, which legalized medical marijuana in 2013. (ChicagoBusiness.com – Jun 26, 2019)
- Under the current legislative, regulatory, and tax scenario – even in the states where cannabis is medically and recreationally legal – the majority of sales are still unregulated and cash based.
- Heavily cash based industries are financially opaque, attracting criminal actors – and criminal activity like money laundering, terrorist finance and human trafficking.
- Many of the legal sellers are still forced to transact in cash because most financial institutions will not serve them under the current federal legislation. While some of the more mature market states do have banking options, there is still a lack of electronic payments available – forcing consumers into obtuse work arounds and businesses to still deal heavily in cash for payments.