Mastercard has officially stopped debit cardholders from placing transactions to purchase marijuana. The move will impact the progress of the cannabis industry to gain more legal recognition by U.S. banks and financial corporations.
A spokesperson for the company spoke of its latest ordinance, sharing how they were “made aware” of its purchase availability and quickly rectified the matter, as reported by Reuters.
“In accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that offer payment services to cannabis merchants and connects them to Mastercard to terminate the activity,” they said in the statement.
“The federal government considers cannabis sales illegal, so these purchases are not allowed on our systems.”
Although the sale and use of marijuana and its subsidiary products are legal for medicinal use in 23 states—and recreational in certain states—this law is not upheld federally. Due to this discrepancy, many financial institutions nationwide have forbidden purchases via their users’ bank accounts.
The legalization of marijuana extends beyond the growth of the commercial industry to how equitable it is internally as well. Aspiring Black entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry face additional setbacks, such as acquiring capital to embark on their brand, alongside the racist history of the criminalization of marijuana still impactful today.
However, Republican politicians are united in their opposition against any legislation to expand marijuana services for U.S. banks. A bill coined the SAFE Banking Act would remedy the issue cannabis businesses face now with financial accessibility for customers, including those who wish to support and uplift diverse brands.
However, cannabis companies are fighting back against the stigma against its widespread availability and use.
Darren Weiss, president of premium cannabis brand Verano, encourages weed enthusiasts to continue advocating for legalization,
“We will continue to advocate for cannabis reform in Washington through further dialogue with elected officials and stakeholders to advance conversations supporting the growth of safe, legal cannabis across the U.S.”
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Source: Black Enterprise