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Tech company looks to make marijuana dispensaries safer

Posted at 11:33 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 11:37:03-04

A new company has set it sight on making the growing marijuana industry safer.

The main goal is to reduce the amount of cash transactions.

The company is called Tokes, and specializes in cryptocurrency payments.

"It is a great solution to the cash problem," Tokes CEO & co-founder Michael Wagner said.

The cash problem relates to the fact marijuana dispensaries can’t take credit card or debit card payments because banks will not accept money from the businesses due to federal regulations.

Nobody understands that better than Benjamin Hoskins, the founder of Pisos.

He not only has to send tens of thousands of dollars in taxes to the state every month, in cash, he also has to keep the money from every day transactions safe.

"It takes a lot of security, accounting and overhead," Hoskins said.

That's one of the reasons his dispensary was the first in town to accept tokes.

Users buy tokes online, and then use them in the dispensary instead of carrying cash around.

But the founders say the biggest protection is for the dispensary itself.

"It is a much bigger risk for the business, who is processing hundreds or thousands of transactions a day," Wagner said.

Now the founders are working to get other dispensaries to adopt the technology.

"I'd say it is about 50/50 in terms of our positive and negative response to what we are trying to do," Gabriel Allred, Tokes COO & co-founder said.

Tokes is hoping to get ATMs up and running in the future to make it easier for people to load tokes into their accounts.

The company is also working on developing ways for marijuana businesses to pay each other using the cryptocurrency instead of cash.