FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photo, plants grow at the home of Jeremy Nickle, owner of Hawaiian Holy Smokes, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hawaii says it will be the first state to require marijuana transactions to be handled without cash. Hawaii state officials said Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, medical marijuana dispensaries won't be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1, 2017, and will have to use a debit payment app instead. (AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii says it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash.
State officials said Tuesday that medical marijuana dispensaries won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1. People will have to use a debit payment app instead.
The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs says it wanted to eliminate cash to avoid robberies.
Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government. Federal officials regulate banking and still ban pot.
The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. Some mainland credit unions have opened accounts for cannabis businesses.