By Steve Elliott
Hundreds of automatic teller machines in medical marijuana dispensaries were shut down on Wednesday, just days after ATMs were turned off in recreational cannabis shops.
The machines in Colorado and Washington were part of a network served by MetaBank, a South Dakota company which in January had warned ATM providers that machines located in marijuana shops violated federal banking rules, reports David Migoya at The Denver Post.
The machines, both cashless and the traditional ATMs which dispense cash, continued to work until this week, according to owners of cannabis shops impacted by the shutdown.
"Just like that, it was out of commission," said Andy Williams, owner of Medicine Man, a Denver recreational and medical marijuana dispensary that has an on-site cash-dispensing ATM. "I got a warning the night before saying they'd lost their bank, and that was it.
The ATM machines are the lifeblood of many marijuana shops, which are forced by federal banking rules to otherwise work in cash only rather than accepting credit and debit cards from their customers.
A number of trade organization Marijuana Industry Group's clients lost ATMs, both of the cash-dispensing and cashless variety, according to executive director Michael Elliott.