Panama City, FL –
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Cannabis is a booming industry and Panama City medical cardholders will now have access to a brand new dispensary, Curaleaf.
But as the cannabis operator explains, there are many hurdles when it comes to managing your income.
According to Forbes magazine, legal sales of marijuana in North America are expected to exceed $ 20 billion by 2021. However, cannabis dispensaries have limited access to banking services.
“In Florida alone, we spend tens of thousands of dollars moving cash around the state,” said Jon Faucher, COO of Curaleaf.
Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 narcotic, so most banks refuse to hold money from cannabis companies.
“We have chests in every store. We have daily collections from each store. You pay for the armored car service, you have two security guards, ”Faucher said.
Dispensaries like Curaleaf have to drive for several hours until they can deposit their earnings with a cannabis-friendly credit union. This is why most dispensaries are cash only.
“Cash payment represents about 90% of the business. There are pin flow solutions out there, but it’s a bit expensive for the patient, so they don’t all like to do it and it’s a bit bulky, ”said Faucher.
Cannabis operators like Curaleaf remain hopeful while they wait for the “SAFE Banking Act” to be passed, ”said Faucher.
“This will allow federal banks to operate with state-approved legal cannabis businesses without fear of being shut down by the federal government,” Faucher said.
The medical marijuana industry has taken off in recent years. Curaleaf has 33 dispensaries in Florida, their most recent is located at 749 W. 23rd Street in Panama City. Curaleaf serves more than 420,000 patients in the state. The dispensary sells NANO cartridges, sublingual tablets and drops, among others.
“We weren’t there, we just saw a volume of delivery, so we realized that there were actually a lot of people who wanted to try these products,” Faucher said.
While transporting their profits can be difficult, Faucher has high expectations for the industry. He believes it will produce many benefits such as employment, healing, and income.