The legal marijuana market has had difficulty establishing banking relationships, given the disparities in local and federal regulation of cannabis sales. SinglePoint Inc. is developing a bitcoin-based option to address this concern.

Manager Ross Phillip stakes marijuana plants in a flower room at the grow facility for Sense of Healing dispensary in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.
Manager Ross Phillip stakes marijuana plants in a flower room at the grow facility for Sense of Healing dispensary in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. Bloomberg News

SinglePoint is working with First Bitcoin Capital Corp., a bitcoin and blockchain technology company, to develop a bitcoin-based payment system for cannabis sellers.

“There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment," Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint's CEO, said in a June 6 news release. "This joint venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing. Bitcoin payments are catching on and cannabis dispensaries need a solution fast.”

The partners plan to distribute their offering as a downloadable application for point of sale machines.

The offering would compete with other pot payment innovations such as cashless ATMs and dedicated prepaid cards.

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Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe is editor in chief at PaymentsSource and a contributing editor at American Banker.