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Legal Status: Processing Credit Cards at Cannabis Dispensaries

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Cannabis Payments

Legal Status: Processing Credit Cards at Cannabis Dispensaries

While companies still knock on the doors of dispensaries, offering credit card processing solutions is not worth the risk. Major credit card providers do not allow cannabis transactions on the card rails.

January 13, 2023
Legal Status: Processing Credit Cards at Cannabis Dispensaries


Americans are familiar with making everyday purchases with their credit cards. Often, it catches the casual cannabis consumer by surprise to learn that dispensaries do not accept credit cards as a payment method.

Credit Card Risk

As cannabis remains federally illegal and classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, major credit card companies, i.e., VISA, MasterCard, and American Express, currently prohibit credit card cannabis payments.

With the cannabis industry's focus on providing sophisticated and tech-savvy consumer buying experiences, cash-only requirements can be off-putting to the customer. Many Americans use credit cards programmed in their mobile phone wallets and prefer cards to cash for convenience and loyalty points.

Though accepting credit cards may sound tempting, cannabis businesses should avoid it until federal legislation provides clarity and card networks begin transparently endorsing the use of their networks in cannabis.

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