Leading Seed-to-Sale Payment Hub PayQwick Raises $2.86M to Support Expansion

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Leading Seed-to-Sale Payment Hub PayQwick Raises $2.86M to Support Expansion

 Calabasas – Oct. 26, 2017 PayQwick, Inc., the leader in seed-to-sale electronic payment hub for the legal marijuana industry, today announced it has raised $2.86 million. PayQwick will use the funding to accelerate sales and product development as the company expands into California, Nevada, Michigan and Alaska.

PayQwick’s platform allows legal marijuana businesses to pay each other electronically. PayQwick reduces the cash that these businesses handle, boosts the security of payment processing and increases efficiency.

“Our primary goals when we launched PayQwick were to allow legal marijuana businesses to pay each other electronically and to promote public safety by reducing the amount of cash handled by cannabis businesses,” said Keith Marks, CEO and co-founder of PayQwick. “Our app  allows growers and retailers to do just that with a swipe of a finger.”

Because of PayQwick’s stringent Bank Secrecy Act and Anti Money Laundering compliance programs, PayQwick’s clients can attain regular business bank accounts without hiding their involvement in the cannabis industry.

PayQwick serves cannabis businesses and the web-based, wholesale cannabis exchanges that are rapidly gaining acceptance. “Our investors spent a lot of time evaluating potential investments in this industry and felt PayQwick had the most sophisticated, user-friendly, and compliant software product they had seen,” Marks said.

Marks and co-founder Ken Berke have a history of building successful companies, and they have developed a keen understanding of the financial needs of the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

PayQwick is currently licensed to operate in Washington, Oregon and Arizona, and has begun beta operations in Colorado with select manufacturers and retail stores. Over the next six months, PayQwick plans to expand into California, Nevada, Michigan and Alaska. Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes.

For more information about PayQwick, visit www.payqwick.com. The PayQwick app for cannabis businesses can be downloaded in the Apple App and Google Play stores.

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 About PayQwick

Founded in 2014, PayQwick brings proven payment processing, cash management and banking services to the licensed medical and adult-use (recreational) marijuana industries. PayQwick is a proprietary technology and regulatory compliance platform that sets the “gold standard” for providing financial services to the marijuana industry.

 

ROBOTS AND DRONES ENTER THE CANNABIS BUSINESS

Security systems, cameras and armed guards have dominated the cash-rich cannabis business since the inception of legal medical and recreational marijuana laws.  Recently, drones and robots have been introduced to defend against outside threats to businesses’ valuable and vulnerable assets as well as to minimize the often-costly consequences of human error.

Mechanically, robots and droids can conduct a complex series of actions automatically and efficiently with the capability of alerting human monitors when they detect that something is wrong.   They differ from armed guards because they ‘don’t shoot back at intruders’ and ‘can take a gunshot better than humans’’.  Though there is a chance that they will soon arm the robots with pepper spray.

Canndescent, a grow in Desert Hot Springs uses Hardcar Security to monitor and secure the perimeter of their site. A UGV, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle, made by a group called Intellos, provides the evening patrol and delivers more assurance than the visions of a lonely night guard falling asleep or playing video games at his post.

Recently, Eaze, a cannabis delivery company demonstrated the use of a drone at the Cannabis Cup in San Bernadino.  A spokesperson for the company said “We see it in the future.  It’s on the horizon”.

Automation seems to be all over the industry.  Smokey Point Productions in Washington has automated the seeding, feeding and trimming processes in their cultivation business and find it to be incredibly efficient.  “This saves me from having a person mix the nutrients and do it manually”.  A person however is used to place the product in a package but then the machine finishes the process when it seals, bar codes and counts the packages.

With the industry on a trajectory to very rapid increased growth, it only follows that the size of grow operations and delivery warehouses will need to embrace automation and the use of newer more efficient ways to deal with their volume and demand for speed.

VEG PayQwick

Sessions Signals Cannabis Complaisance

Deciphering Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ remarks on cannabis is critical to anticipating the future trajectory of the cannabis industry. Mr. Sessions has long been a cannabis opponent. Consequently, his appointment to Attorney General created worry throughout the cannabis industry. Mr. Sessions began to allay these worries shortly after his appointment by calling the enforcement priorities in Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole’s 2014 memorandum titled Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement (the “Cole Memo”) “truly valuable” and “valid.” On April 26, 2017, Mr. Sessions offered the cannabis industry further hope after his meeting with Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper.

Governor Hickenlooper reported Mr. Sessions was receptive to communicating with him and Governors Brown (OR), Walker (AK) and Inslee (WA) before making changes to the current cannabis regulatory and enforcement systems. Further, according to Governor Hickenlooper, Mr. Sessions is “reviewing the Cole Memo” and working on “a version … that makes sense for [the Trump] administration.” The Attorney General also stated one of his greatest concerns with respect to cannabis is increased drug consumption. Governor Hickenlooper reassured Mr. Sessions that in Colorado, recreational cannabis legalization has not caused a large spike in consumption, especially amongst teens.

When asked about increased federal enforcement, the Attorney General responded “well you haven’t seen us cracking down, have you?” According to Governor Hickenlooper, Mr. Sessions’ responses indicate the Department of Justice’s (the “DEA”) drug enforcement priorities will focus on hard drugs like heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine. Although Mr. Sessions is “not going to, in any way, encourage anyone to start a marijuana business,” he did not “give [Governor Hickenlooper] any reason to think that [the DEA] is going to come down and suddenly try to put everyone out of business.”

Though Governor Hickenlooper’s account of his meeting with Mr. Sessions is reassuring, it also reiterates the critical importance of compliance for cannabis businesses. To ensure their success, these businesses must take advantage of compliance platforms like PayQwick, whose comprehensive compliance assessment programs incorporate all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines. By making compliance a priority, these businesses can worry less about federal crackdowns and focus more on their businesses.

by Ken Berke PayQwick