Cannabis is now legal in a number of U.S. states, but because it isn’t federally legal, this “legal” status only does so much for cannabis businesses. While dispensaries can sell cannabis products legally in many states, they don’t have access to the same banking facilities that any other retail business would.
As a technology platform for cannabis commerce, Oregon-based startup Dutchie is cognizant of the complexity of the problem it is trying to tackle. “We are frankly a little bit and kind of in the stone age when it comes to payments and cannabis,” co-founder and chief product officer Zach Lipson told TechCrunch.
“It really forces the industry to rely on cash,” he said, pointing out that 90% of all dispensary transactions are handled in cash. This figure might be a tad high or slightly outdated, as it comes from a 2020 report by research firm Aite Group, prepared for Emerging Markets Coalition (EMC), an advocacy group for financial services in the cannabis space. But the point remains: Cashless transactions are often not an option for cannabis businesses.
Zach and his co-founder (who is also his brother and the company’s CEO), Ross Lipson, aim to solve that problem with Dutchie Pay, a payment solution that is designed for the legal cannabis market in the U.S.
How it works
If you’re buying legal cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, you might be able to place an order on your dispensary’s website, but you’ll still have to pay cash upon delivery or pickup. This is where Dutchie Pay comes in.
Dutchie Pay’s moniker is reminiscent of Apple Pay, and that’s not a coincidence — Dutchie also has ambitions to be a one-click payment system.