How to Get a Cannabis Dispensary ATM

Author Justin Gilmore

If you operate a cannabis dispensary or are planning to open one, you already understand the challenges marijuana dispensary businesses have with processing payments. While an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, the federal government still considers it a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This means most banks and credit card companies can’t legally conduct transactions with you, so accepting debit/credit cards and checks are a risky venture at best. One of the best ways to ensure your customers have easy access to cash is by placing a cannabis dispensary ATM machine on site. Let’s discuss a few options you have for doing so.

Buying an ATM Machine Outright

With a bit of up-front investment, you can purchase an ATM outright to place in your dispensary. Having ownership of the machine comes with a number of advantages, especially when you purchase from a reputable company like National ATM. These advantages include:

  • Turnkey operation: Installation and signage are included, along with warranty coverage.
  • Increase in sales: More than 50 percent of users of your ATM will buy in your store — and for cannabis dispensaries, this percentage is likely higher since your customers are required to pay in cash.
  • Convenience for customers: You’re providing additional value for your customers by providing easy cash access.
  • Additional source of revenue: When you own the machine, you get to keep all the transaction fees, which not only helps the machine pay for itself but provides you an additional source of income.

The main downside of owning the ATM is that you’re responsible for maintaining the machine, including keeping it stocked with cash. However, when you’re running primarily a cash business, this burden shouldn’t be too difficult to bear.

ATM Placement Program

If you simply don’t want the added responsibility or expense of buying and maintaining your own ATM machine, another option is to contract with the ATM company for an ATM placement program. Under these terms, the company retains ownership and maintenance of the machines while giving you a percentage of the transaction fees in return for providing the placement space. Benefits of this type of arrangement:

  • No out-of-pocket expense: Placement is free of charge.
  • Hassle-free operation: The ATM company takes responsibility for placing, installing, maintaining, stocking and repairing the machine.
  • Simplicity: ATM placements offer convenience for your customers, and increased sales for you, without the headaches of maintaining the ATM.

Bitcoin ATMs for Dispensaries

Yet another option to consider — or an additional option to installing a cash ATM — is to place a bitcoin ATM in your cannabis dispensary. With the current limitations dispensaries have in conducting transactions, many are accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as forms of payment. Because crypto is both unregulated and secure, it is a viable way for customers to conduct cashless transactions if they so choose. Installing a bitcoin ATM gives your customers yet another way to pay.

If one or more of these ATM placement options appeals to you, we can help. To learn more about getting a cannabis dispensary ATM for your customers, call, LLC today at 1-866-295-2329.