How to Safely Process Payments for Cannabis Products: A Guide for Businesses


Selling weed has never been more enticing. The legal cannabis industry is projected to grow to $35 billion by 2025. At the same time, the complexity of cannabis laws across the U.S. make running a cannabis business risky. Payment processing for the cannabis industry has strict but ever-changing rules.

So what is the most cost-effective and legal route? What forms of payment should a cannabis business accept?

Never fear. We rounded up the best payment processing options for cannabis businesses.


Credit card payments are illegal for the cannabis industry, so the natural alternative is cash. But cash comes with its complications for cannabis. In the age of credit cards, customers are more likely to spend less when purchasing with cash.

There are also a few extra risks for the business. There’s the risk of human error when counting and keeping track of cash. Your business also becomes an easy theft target with loads of cash on hand.

But with the legal grey areas of other methods, many cannabis businesses still choose to take the risk and operate solely on cash payments. It’s a tried and true option that works especially well for those just starting out.


While investing in marijuana can yield rewards, using crypto to purchase cannabis yields very few. Cryptocurrency has become popular over the past decade, but it’s known to be volatile.

For the cannabis industry, crypto is a fresh and exciting new way to avoid legal risks to conduct transactions, but the unreliability may not be worth the hassle. Most importantly, crypto hasn’t reached everyone’s wallets yet, so you automatically lose potential customers by choosing it.

High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Cannabis businesses are considered high-risk merchants. The good news? There are high-risk merchant account providers out there who promise to give you access to credit card transactions.

How does this work? High-risk merchant accounts use point-to-point financial technology. This technology keeps transactions off credit card records and is fully legal in the United States. While high processing and annual fees are involved, these accounts still provide an alluring loophole for dispensaries.

Just know that the point of high-risk merchant accounts is to avoid revealing the true nature of the transaction, which runs its own risks. But, there are many companies experienced in high-risk transactions providing these services.

ACH/Bank Transfers

Today’s financial technology allows users to transfer money easily from their bank account to another from your laptop, tablet, or phone. Digital technology allows for features like easy refunds and full integration.

This technology can open doors for a cannabis business to provide product pickup and advance payments.

The Future of Payment for Cannabis Products

Digital solutions are the present safe route for the sale of cannabis products. But where is payment processing for the cannabis industry headed?

Major legal changes for cannabis from the past decade tell us that more change is imminent. It’s likely cannabis’ changing legal status could make payment options easier in the future.

Either way, your best bet is to play it safe as possible to avoid repercussions.

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