Outliers: Medical marijuana buying gets digital

Think of it as a digital ID card for buying medical marijuana.

An enterprising Birmingham, Mich., company has developed digital identification cards that can be used at pay-as-you-go kiosks for transactions at marijuana dispensaries.

If all goes according to plan, the MediPay kiosk and identification system tested in Detroit may be rolled out in California, Arizona, New Jersey and other states that have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, said B. Michael Friedman, CEO of MediSwipe, a small publicly traded company.

The interest in the MediSwipe system stems from its ability to provide transaction options besides cash and secure recordkeeping systems. “Dispensaries are really having a tough time right now handling customer transactions because banks pretty much won't deal with them and credit card companies have shut out the industry,” Chris Walsh, editor of trade publication Medical Marijuana Business Daily, told Crain's Detroit Business.

MediSwipe also intends to install Payteller-built kiosks modified specifically for dispensaries to greatly reduce the need for cash transactions when patients reimburse expenses of caregivers who provide medical marijuana. Patients using the kiosks will identify themselves with their digital cards, then insert cash or other form of payment into the machine to receive a coupon voucher or payment card that can then be used for reimbursing expenses.



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