After hiccup, Great Barrington dispensary again accepts debit cards
By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
GREAT BARRINGTON — The financial services company that seemed to get cold feet about a federal cannabis crackdown is again processing payments at a Great Barrington dispensary.
Four days after Theory Wellness had to shift to all-cash transactions, it has resumed accepting debit card payments.
Nick Friedman, the company’s president and chief financial officer, said Theory Wellness was able to restore service with Merchant Services Consulting Group of Florida, a company that processes debit card payments.
The company, which has an office in Westborough, notified customers in Massachusetts last Monday that due to uncertainty about the federal government’s position on the cannabis trade, it was bowing out.
That same day, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said he could not guarantee he would look away from operations related to state-sanctioned cannabis businesses. His statement came four days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department would no longer follow an Obama administration advisory that directed prosecutors not to intervene in states where residents voted to allow cannabis use.
Friedman said he is confident that despite the shift at the national level, cannabis companies allowed under Massachusetts laws will be able to operate.
The recreational cannabis market is scheduled to get off the ground July 1, after the Cannabis Control Commission adopts regulations, takes applications and grants licenses.
“I don’t anticipate any changes,” Friedman told The Eagle. “It is a reminder to continue to operate in full compliance with our state regulations, as we have been since inception.”
He added, “We must remember that having state-regulated dispensaries is a safer, above-board alternative to the un-regulated, un-tested black market.”
Friedman declined to say whether Theory Wellness has received assurances that the payment-processing company will continue to do business in the Bay State.
A recorded message on the company’s Westborough office line said no one was