New app helping marijuana dispensaries go cashless - KPTV - FOX 12

New app helping marijuana dispensaries go cashless

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There’s an app for just about everything, and now there’s one for marijuana. For the first time, shoppers can use their cell phones to buy weed in Portland. 

More states are legalizing marijuana, but the banks are still hesitant to touch the pot industry. The federal government still considers cannabis illegal. That’s why cash is king inside dispensaries.

But many in the dispensary business agree that cash is slow, it feels illegitimate, and it isn’t safe. Now, the new app called CanPay is hoping to change that.

“Being able, at the end of the day, to minimize the cash inside the building and just coming and going on a security level is going to be incredibly beneficial for us,” said Serra Dispensary manager Joel Vanderzanden. “I think this is going to set a new standard in moving away from some of the stigma and misconceptions we still have about cannabis.”

Vanderzanden said with the new app, his customers can pay without cash. 

“We built our own payment network outside of Visa and Mastercard,” said CanPay CEO Dustin Eide. 

Without getting too deep into the weeds, Eide said CanPay uses a legal way to link your checking account to a dispensary. He said the app carries your funds through a financial institution that allows cannabis transactions. 

“You can pay electronically and it’s totally transparent. Everyone knows in that chain that these are cannabis transactions, and they’re OK with it,” said Eide. 

The app is very similar to a mobile wallet, creating the same experience shoppers have pretty much anywhere else.

“This is a single-use payment pin that will expire within 30 minutes,” said Eide. 

The new app launched in Oregon this week. Eide said seven dispensaries have signed up to use it, including the Serra Dispensary in Portland.

The app has already gone live in five other states.

To download the new app, visit CanPayApp.com

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