Illinois residents now are free to apply for and receive licenses for medical marijuana prescriptions, and the state already has issued about 2,500 for patients with conditions that could be eased by use of the drug. But how can they buy their medications if the state’s limited number of licensed dispensaries can’t take their customers’ debit or credit cards and don’t have a place to provide or stash cash?
Oak Park dispensary owner Brad Zerman is working on finding a solution to this problems in Illinois, following a model he says he studied in Colorado in 2014. His company, Sky Processing, is planning to operate ATMs that can be installed in dispensaries throughout Illinois. These ATMs would be fully legal and solve many of the medical marijuana industry’s financial problems surrounding cash access, transparency and banking compliance.
“We see that we can provide a valuable service,” Zerman said of dispensaries that don’t have relationships with banks that would allow them to operate other ATMs at their stores. “All kinds of businesses have become…reliant on ATMs, now,” he said, pointing out it would be a huge knock against the ability of dispensaries to operate like normal businesses if they couldn’t provide a space for their customers to get cash. [Read more at Reboot Illinois]