Never mind that 33 of our 50 states now have some level of legalization for the use of cannabis for medical purposes, if you are a practicing physician who believes in the efficacy of the use of marijuana as a positive treatment for your patients, you are up for a challenge to say the least.
Medical marijuana doctors are plagued with a moral and legal conundrum.
Doctors in general are bound by a moral commitment to serve the sick and ailing, to remain compassionate and dedicated to the health and wellness of humanity. To do no harm. Physicians also maintain a commitment to continuing education and advances in scientific knowledge. They take on a responsibility to advocate for change in laws that do not serve the best interests of the patient. They are, for all intents and purposes, raised up to provide “Service to humanity, caring for the sick, promoting good health, and last but not least alleviating pain and suffering”.
Advocating for medical marijuana puts doctors in a moral and legal crux.
But if that commitment leads to serving patients through the administration of medical marijuana it puts doctors smack in the middle of a moral and legal conundrum.
It seems unlikely that a business that does not actually sell any substance that is deemed illegal by the federal government would have a difficult time acquiring the banking and payments solutions needed to operate a business here in the U.S. But that is exactly what happens for businesses considered ancillary to the cannabis industry, or considered a marijuana related business. These types of companies that provide services to or promote the marijuana industry have even been given a term, MRB’s or marijuana related business by the government and financial institutions overseen by the government. Unfortunately, due to the disparity between local and federal governments any business who could be considered “marijuana related” or promoting of an illegal substance are plagued with guilt by association. Many government entities refuse to provide service to any business they determine are associating themselves with an illegal substance. Never mind that they are not directly selling any illegal products or that they reside within a state with legal cannabis.
Difficulties associated with a doctor’s decision to administer advice on the uses of cannabis as a medicinal treatment and the stigma that comes with being associated with the cannabis industry as a whole can be debilitating for a practice.
Everything from not being able to get a bank account to conduct normal business operations to being unable to accept payments, anything other than cash, for your services. And even if you can accept cash, where would you put it? How about insurance payments? Where would they be deposited without a bank account?
Without a bank account a practice would not be able to order and pay for supplies, make payroll, pay taxes. They may be in jeopardy of losing liability insurance if they are associated with what insurers consider an illegal substance. The list goes on and infiltrates every aspect of running a successful practice.
The overlapping of state and federal laws where banking law and Visa/MasterCard regulations are concerned are the source of all of this friction. Federal law governs America’s bank regulations and those rules state that depositing money derived from the promotion of an illegal substance is considered money laundering. Federal banking laws are already extremely complex, for a bank to offer financial services to marijuana related business within legal states piles on significantly more convoluted compliance procedures and risk. Furthermore, both Visa and MasterCard, Discover and Amex, have all stated that they will not allow payment transactions involving a federally illegal substance, in any state, regardless of the purpose. This puts medical marijuana doctors between a rock and a hard spot.
Physicians who choose to practice in the medical marijuana realm deserve to be supported with trust, integrity and transparent payment solutions.
Do they uphold their moral values and fight the good fight treating all patients with the most appropriate means available? Or, do they shy away from controversy in an effort to keep their office running, their bank accounts open and better treat the patients they have? Because after all, if they can’t run their office, or keep their office open, they are not doing any of the public any good.
Physicians who have gone out on the limb to not only support their patients with the most current and cutting edge treatment options, but also to stand up against the stigma associated with marijuana’s storied past need to be provided with only the best and most innovative support available to them when it comes to banking and payments. They need this integral support in order to allow them to keep doing what they are here to do. Help patients.
At Bankcard Brokers we believe that it is up to the patient and their physician to decide the best course of treatment, we also believe in the advancement of the payments industry to remain in line with what the people and the merchants need.
Providing solutions to medical marijuana doctors as well as many other marijuana related businesses is no small task, but it is still feasible. We advocate tirelessly for fair access to banking and payments solutions for all business. Through decades of experience with higher risk businesses who require special attention, we have gained the expertise needed to offer solutions designed to help merchants navigate an intricate legal system. Because we operate on the forefront of the medical cannabis movement we understand and take seriously our own role in offering solutions to the industry as well as to help the industry continue positive forward momentum.
We’ve laid the groundwork by creating strategic partnerships with progressive companies willing to make compliant payment processing and banking solutions attainable for our merchants.
Dependable and affordable merchant service solutions are not just important but integral to the success of your business. Bankcard Brokers strives to provide our merchants with the most dependable and cutting edge solutions on the market today through transparency, credibility and world class service.
As a doctor, you are dedicated to the health and wellness of humanity. At Bankcard Brokers we are dedicated to the health and wellness to our merchants who serve humanity. Give Bankcard Brokers a call today to see how we can support your medical marijuana practice.