Mobile Payments Meet Medical Marijuana

Mobile payments may be going to pot.

No. Literally.

Perhaps it was high time that medical and recreational marijuana buying be enabled by smartphones.

That’s just what one Arizona company plans to do by facilitating mobile payments at the medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries in the 20 states where marijuana is legal.

And this is beyond just a token idea.

As part of the approach, SinglePoint in Phoenix is acquiring Drive Media Networks to link that company’s digital displays with the payment capabilities of SinglePoint.

The joint effort will comprise installing signage at the dispensaries to alert buyers that they will be able to purchase their cannabis and pay by smartphone, Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint CEO told me yesterday.

A customer, who now pays cash, would be notified by an opt-in text messaging program that they now could pay via mobile.

At purchase time, credit card information is entered one time with the option to be remembered, making later purchases faster.

Credit card information is not stored on the phone but with a merchant processor, Lambrecht said.

This approach could be a smoking hot concept, since Lambert pegs the market size at about $8 billion.

“The average sale is $170 in Denver and lines are 45 minutes long,” Lambrecht said. “We want to be the mobile payments provider.”

The company expects not to blow its approach, since it’s early as a payments provider at the dispensaries and it is not beating around the bush to move, although the company doesn’t appear to be chasing anyone in the space so could end up as the gold star player.

Lambrecht sees a boom coming, comparing the growth of dispensaries to the early days of gambling.

“Fifteen to 20 years ago, you could only gamble in Las Vegas or Atlantic City,” Lambrecht said.

With marijuana dispensaries popping up like weeds in places like Colorado and Washington, this joint payments effort has serious potential.

And this could be an idea that is totally dope.

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5 comments about "Mobile Payments Meet Medical Marijuana".
  1. Mike Anderson from CSS , May 8, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.
    Chuck... you obviously had fun with the overdose of innuendoes and double entendres in this post. Any others coming down the pipe?
  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , May 8, 2014 at 12:57 p.m.
    Some of your readers see nothing joke-worthy about a drug that causes brain damage. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181156.htm
  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , May 8, 2014 at 1 p.m.
    Good one, Mike, thanks.
  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , May 8, 2014 at 1:01 p.m.
    No offense meant, Douglas, the mobile payments approach is happening.
  5. Pete Austin from Triggered Messaging , May 9, 2014 at 6:18 a.m.
    @Douglas: I don't like cannabis either, but that study shows correlation not causation; it's about casual use not medical use, and it doesn't use the term "brain damage".