Marijuana with Mastercard? Company issues cannabis card crackdown

Purchase, New York - If you are considering using your Mastercard debit card for a purchase the next time you visit your local dispensary, think again!

Banking company Mastercard has been sending cease-and-desist letters demanding payment firms to stop accepting marijuana purchases with its debit cards.
Banking company Mastercard has been sending cease-and-desist letters demanding payment firms to stop accepting marijuana purchases with its debit cards.  © Collage: Mike CLARKE & Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Cannabis on credit? Mastercard is not having it.

The banking company has sent cease-and-desist letters to payment firms and other financial institutions demanding they stop accepting transactions for marijuana whenever a Mastercard debit card is being used, according to Bloomberg.

"As we were made aware of this matter, we quickly investigated it," the company explained in a statement on Wednesday. "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."

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Cannabis is currently legal in 38 of the 50 states, with 23 of those states having it legal for recreational use for adults over the age of 21.

Due to the fact that it is still considered illegal on the federal level, most cannabis consumers are forced to use cash when visiting a dispensary. Mastercard found that despite this, its cards were still being used for purchases.

"The federal government considers cannabis sales illegal, so these purchases are not allowed on our systems," the company added in their statement.

President Joe Biden has promised to decriminalize marijuana on the national level, or possibly reschedule the drug's controlled substance classification, but has yet to do so.

Cover photo: Collage: Mike CLARKE & Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

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