Dustin Eide, CEO of CanPay, answered questions from NJ Cannabis Media about the potential of the New Jersey cannabis market. CanPay is the first debit-based, digital payments solution for the state-regulated cannabis industry, built on a network of compliant financial institutions.
Consumers can make debit purchases with no convenience fees and retailers can offer their customers the convenience of a debit payment while mitigating the risks and costs associated with cash and increasing consumer spending. Financial institutions who participate in the CanPay Closed-Banking Feedback Loop give their highly-regulated business clients access to a legitimate payment tool while also ensuring only compliant transactions flow through the CanPay network.
What do you see as the potential for the New Jersey market and does CanPay plan on entering the market?
With recent changes to increase the number of medical marijuana patients and with adult use being considered at the legislative level, the New Jersey market could see explosive growth.
New Jersey is a market CanPay is very interested in serving. We recently established a relationship with a financial institution that is banking NJ dispensaries under a compliance program, which was the only factor keeping CanPay from serving dispensaries and patients here. With that relationship in place, we expect to launch the first dispensary accepting CanPay in New Jersey in the near future.
Do you anticipate financial institutions in New Jersey becoming members of the CanPay network? If not, what are the options for New Jersey dispensaries?
There is already compliant cannabis banking available to New Jersey dispensaries and CanPay recently included that compliant banking in its approved network. Any dispensary that is banking inside of a compliant cannabis banking program may apply to accept CanPay and we would be happy to refer a dispensary that isn’t yet banking inside of a compliance program to the relevant institution(s) in our network.
Is CanPay just for plant-touching businesses or is it also available for ancillary businesses?
CanPay’s goal is to be the universal payment network for patients and consumers to pay dispensaries/retail outlets for their purchases. This includes in-store payments, delivery payments, and our recently announced ability to enable ecommerce purchases (depending on what is allowed by state regulations). The major credit/debit card networks prohibit their cards from being used for these purchases, so the industry needed a legitimate, transparent, and stable alternative to de-cash these purchases. CanPay does not currently enable business-to-business payments.
Would contractors who do business with plant-touching businesses use CanPay? Or is it just for consumers?
Each business that accepts CanPay MUST be banking within a compliant cannabis banking program that is approved for the CanPay network. This means that our business clients have access to traditional banking services like writing checks and bill-pay. The need for CanPay is greatest where the patient is paying the dispensary for their medicine and we have chosen to focus on making that interaction as seamless and low cost (CanPay is free for the patient to use) as possible.
Has the rescinding of the Cole Memo affected your business? If so, how?
When the Cole Memo was rescinded, the entire cannabis industry held its breath to see what the fallout might be. And while we did see a small handful of financial institutions serving the cannabis industry exit as a result, the fact that the FinCEN Guidance (issued by the Treasury Department in conjunction with the Cole Memo on Feb. 14, 2014) remained in place gave sufficient comfort for most financial institutions to continue serving the industry. Since the Cole Memo was rescinded, CanPay has continued its exponential growth, adding a number of new state markets, merchants, new users, and even new approved financial institutions.
How do you get the word out about your service?
CanPay’s biggest advocates are the dispensaries and retail outlets accepting CanPay around the country. These businesses want their customers using safer payment methods and they like providing their customers with a better, more normalized shopping experience so they gladly encourage their customers to sign-up and use. CanPay also provides marketing support to these businesses to help them spread the word. And since CanPay is completely transparent and approved to operate in the cannabis industry, we are able to talk about what we are doing to solve this problem and spread the word through news outlets such as this one. Finally, our loyal CanPay users love how convenient it is to pay with CanPay and that is free for them to use, so they too are spreading the good word about using CanPay to other patients and consumers.