Hawaii aims to go cash­less for pot sales

Santa Fe New Mexican - - LOCAL & REGION -

HONOLULU — Hawaii said Tues­day that it aims to be the first state to have mar­i­juana sales han­dled with­out cash, say­ing it wanted to avoid rob­beries and other crimes tar­get­ing dis­pen­saries.

All of Hawaii's eight li­censed dis­pen­saries have agreed to go cash­less by Oct. 1, the gov­er­nor's of­fice said. The dis­pen­saries will ask pa­tients to use a debit pay­ment app to buy their pot in­stead of cash. The app is al­ready an op­tion for mar­i­juana trans­ac­tions in six states, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia and Colorado.

Iris Ikeda, the state's fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions com­mis­sioner, told re­porters at a news con­fer­ence that state of­fi­cials haven't dis­cussed whether people want­ing to pay in cash will be turned away from dis­pen­saries.

‘Oct. 1 is our tar­get date to try to go cash­less,’ Ikeda said.

The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to fa­cil­i­tate trans­ac­tions. The Hawaii dis­pen­saries will set up ac­counts with the credit union, called Safe Har­bor Pri- vate Bank­ing.

Un­der the cash­less sys­tem, cus­tomers use their check­ing ac­counts to pay CanPay, which sends the pay­ment to Safe Har­bor.

Hawaii was still work­ing on al­low­ing pre­paid, stored-value cards to be used an al­ter­na­tive for people who don’t have check­ing ac­counts, Ikeda said.

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