Med­i­cal mar­i­juana buy­ing gets dig­i­tal

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS | ASIDES & INSIDES -

Think of it as a dig­i­tal ID card for buy­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana.

An en­ter­pris­ing Birm­ing­ham, Mich., com­pany has devel­oped dig­i­tal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards that can be used at pay-as-you-go kiosks for trans­ac­tions at mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries.

If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, the MediPay kiosk and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem tested in Detroit may be rolled out in Cal­i­for­nia, Ari­zona, New Jersey and other states that have le­gal­ized the use of mar­i­juana for medic­i­nal pur­poses, said B. Michael Fried­man, CEO of MediSwipe, a small pub­licly traded com­pany.

The in­ter­est in the MediSwipe sys­tem stems from its abil­ity to pro­vide trans­ac­tion op­tions be­sides cash and se­cure record­keep­ing sys­tems. “Dis­pen­saries are really hav­ing a tough time right now han­dling cus­tomer trans­ac­tions be­cause banks pretty much won’t deal with them and credit card com­pa­nies have shut out the in­dus­try,” Chris Walsh, ed­i­tor of trade publi­ca­tion Med­i­cal Mar­i­juana Busi­ness Daily, told Crain’s Detroit Busi­ness.

MediSwipe also in­tends to in­stall Payteller-built kiosks mod­i­fied specif­i­cally for dis­pen­saries to greatly re­duce the need for cash trans­ac­tions when pa­tients re­im­burse ex­penses of care­givers who pro­vide med­i­cal mar­i­juana. Pa­tients us­ing the kiosks will iden­tify them­selves with their dig­i­tal cards, then in­sert cash or other form of pay­ment into the ma­chine to re­ceive a coupon voucher or pay­ment card that can then be used for re­im­burs­ing ex­penses.

GETTY IM­AGES

The MediSwipe dig­i­tal ID card aims to make pur­chases of med­i­cal mar­i­juana eas­ier.

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