After Sessions anti-pot move, debit card services at Massachusetts dispensary disrupted. Visa also says it won’t allow any transactions involving marijuana
Visa told The Puff Puff Post on Tuesday that it will adhere to U.S. federal law, and it will not allow any “transactions involving the purchase or trade of marijuana” within its network.
“In offering our payment services, Visa adheres to the rule of law and protecting the integrity of the Visa payment system,” a Visa spokesperson said in an email. “Although several U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, marijuana nevertheless remains illegal under federal law.”
The spokesperson said it will allow transactions to go through using its services once the “federal law allows.”
Only In Boston tweeted on Tuesday a screen grab, showing that Garden Remedies, a medical marijuana dispensary in Newton, Massachusetts, is “unable to process debit payments.”
With 453 thousand followers, Only In Boston, said “debit card processing companies have suspended doing business with Massachusetts marijuana dispensaries” following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hardline push against the growing cannabis legalization trend happening not only in the United States but internationally.
Last week, Sessions annulled an Obama-era policy, which allowed U.S. states to run their legal marijuana business irrespective of the U.S. federal stance. The U.S. government on a federal level shuns marijuana and considers it illegal.
Since late 2016, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is also among eight states, who have have legalized adult use of recreational pot.
The disruption also happened after an unsettling announcement made by a Massachusetts attorney on Monday.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement that he ‘‘cannot provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution,’’ the Associated Press reported.
Lelling made his statement while expressing that he understood the desire for guidance on the federal approach to the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law.
Such determinations would be made on a ‘‘case-by-case basis,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, the Yes on 4 Coalition, which spearheaded the 2016 ballot campaign, had publicly called for Lelling to provide ‘‘clear, unambiguous answers’’ to several questions, including whether his office would prosecute businesses that are granted licenses by state cannabis regulators to grow, produce, test or sell marijuana legally in Massachusetts.