Oklahoma’s adoption of medical marijuana will be green in more ways than one: Retail dispensaries, processors, growing operations and tax agencies will have to work within a cash-only industry.
With marijuana still illegal at the federal level, businesses involved in medical marijuana won’t have easy access to the federal banking system to move money around. Customers will have to pay in cash at dispensaries and can’t write checks. Employees won’t be able to use direct deposit, instead getting paid in cash. Monthly excise tax remittances will have to be taken in cash to the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s offices in Oklahoma City.
The cash-only marijuana market will raise a host of complications up and down the product’s supply chain — in an economy that continues to move steadily away from paying with paper bills and coins. Payroll will be an issue. Cash at every level could become a tempting target for criminals.
The problems are familiar in other states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.
Banking issues have remained in the background as state regulators have had a rocky start in implementing State Question 788. [Read more at Tulsa World]