HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on Hawaii’s push to have all marijuana sales be conducted without cash (all times local):
Hawaii’s financial institutions commissioner says officials haven’t discussed whether people only wanting to pay for their marijuana in cash will be turned away from dispensaries.
Iris Ikeda told reporters Tuesday that Oct. 1 is the state’s target date for having all marijuana sales in Hawaii be handled without cash.
Under the cashless program, customers use their checking accounts to pay for marijuana they buy via an app called CanPay.
Ikeda says the state is still working on an alternative for people who don’t have checking accounts.
She says the alternative would be prepaid, stored value cards. The state is looking for a card provider that would handle payments to the CanPay app.
Hawaii says it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash.
State officials said Tuesday that medical marijuana dispensaries won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1. People will have to use a debit payment app instead.
The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs says it wanted to eliminate cash to avoid robberies.
Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government. Federal officials regulate banking and still ban pot.
The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. Some mainland credit unions have opened accounts for cannabis businesses.