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April 09, 2020

Cannabis Payment Methods Explained

A detailed guide on what methods of payment you can use at Silver Stem dispensaries and how.

Dear Customers and Patients,

This article is aimed at attempting to shine some light at what a marijuana customer/patient is and isn’t able to do when it comes to various payment forms and why.

In the world of regulated marijuana, any systematic shopper, whether medical or recreational, must have noticed that the experience of paying for cannabis purchases in any form other than cash at their nearest marijuana dispensary has been inconsistent, to say the least. Most dispensaries who were able to accept credit and/or debit cards at one point, weren’t able to do so a few months later, and when they did, the experience was often accompanied by a complicated process and additional fees, all the while leaving their customers frustrated.

“But why?” - you ask.

The answer is not because dispensaries are greedy and are “out for every dollar they can get” or are purposely making the process more difficult than it should be, compared to say - checking out at a self-service register at your neighborhood Walmart. On the contrary, in today’s competitive world of legalized cannabis, legalized on the state level that is, marijuana retailers are attempting to streamline their processes to match those of traditional retailers and provide the most seamless experience possible. However, federal illegality is what’s causing the disconnect between the marijuana retailers and their consumers when it comes to things we seem to take for granted in everyday life, such as online payments and credit card processing.

From banks to software/hardware providers to advertising - marijuana industry continues to face tremendous challenges, in a sense that most “tried-and-true” services are simply not available to the industry for fear of federal repercussions. Most “tech” providers who service the regulated cannabis industry today, were formed within the last 5-6 years and had to forego servicing other, non-marijuana clients as a trade-off. Because they had to start from scratch - they continue to face certain difficulties, long forgotten by traditional industries, setting the “tech-side of things for all things marijuana” a step or two behind. This is particularly noticeable when trying to shop for specials, combine promotions, apply membership reward points, or Primary Patient Program discounts or simply online with a credit card. Additional restrictions are placed by state regulators, of which many apply to processes described above.

On the bright side - not all is lost and progress continues to be made and certain transactions are now possible, though on a very limited basis. We here at Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, are proud to announce our partnership with two of industry’s leading payment solutions providers, CanPay and POSaBIT. While their concepts are uniquely different from each other, by utilizing both providers Silver Stem is now able to offer a wide range of payment options to its customers and patients. The processes are still not nearly as seamless as we would like them to be and come with certains quirks, so please read on to know what to expect when using any of these solutions.


CanPay’s concept is similar to PayPal, Venmo and other digital payment providers. The best part about using CanPay to pay online or in-store using their app, is that there are absolutely no fees to the customer if debited directly from a linked checking account. You will have to sign up and provide your bank routing and account information, similarly to PayPal or Venmo, and in some cases CanPay will have to make a micro deposit to your account for validation purposes, which can take a couple of days, but if you are a budget-minded regular shopper - CanPay is probably for you and well worth the associated wait, if any, in the long run. Keep in mind, that CanPay is the only online payment solution currently offered.

Please note, you can only prepay for the exact amount of purchase shown in cart and the system does not currently take into account any loyalty points or Primary Patient Program discounts or specials, therefore, if your shopping includes any of these items, your transaction will need to be finalized in store. To pay for your online purchase, please select CanPay as your form of payment.

If your purchase involves a discount associated with special promotions or points, please select “I plan to pay at pick with cash or card” and go inside the store upon arrival. Online order pickups are prioritized, meaning you will save some time. You will still be able to use your CanPay app once your total is adjusted and finalized.


POSaBIT is a truly unique solution because it uses cryptocurrency to compliantly process a transaction. They are a licensed Money Services Business, who has been compliantly processing cannabis payments since 2016. POSaBIT is best suitable for those looking for the fastest and most convenient way to pay for their legal cannabis purchase with any major credit or debit card, as they would at their local grocery store. Without going into too much detail, the customer purchases Litecoin at checkout and uses Litecoin to pay for the cannabis transaction, which is then immediately converted back into dollars for the merchant. All of this is done seamlessly through the card terminal and the customer is issued a receipt for the total amount of their cannabis purchase and a matching receipt for crypto purchase. Convenience fees are similar to those of most ATM’s. Please read below for more details on POSaBIT processing.

•     POSaBIT Credit. There is a convenience fee of $3.95 per transaction added at check-out, whether in-store or at curbside pickup. Customers are able to add a tip at check-out, if desired, negating the need to bring or handle extra cash. Customers will be issued a receipt for the total transaction amount.

•     POSaBIT Debit. There is a convenience fee of $3.00 per transaction added at check-out in-store. Customers are also able to add a tip at check-out, if desired. Please keep in mind that the debit function operates similarly to an ATM and rounds the transaction to the nearest $5.00 increment. Receipts will show the total amount charged and customers will be issued change in cash. Please note, because this is an “ATM-like” transaction, there may be additional fees charged by the customer's bank.

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