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


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.


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

Cashing in on Cannabis; CannaCon’s Banking Panel

Marijuana’s profitability is no secret. Since Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, recreational marijuana sales in the state have totaled over $1 billion, translating to over $250 million collected in taxes. Such substantial sales, however, have also brought problems in the form of cash.

Because of marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule I substance, financial institutions continue to deny banking services to state licensed marijuana businesses. Consequently, these businesses have been forced to deal in cash and suffer the sometimes lethal consequences.

There are, however, licensed marijuana businesses who have broken free from cash with the help of third party platforms like PayQwick. Licensed marijuana businesses can now easily access regular businesses bank accounts, cash management and bill pay services and the ability to send and receive electronic payments. These businesses also enjoy the added benefit of compliance services, which keep them operating in line with all of the state’s regulations.

To learn how to break free from cash, marijuana business owners and those considering the marijuana industry can attend CannaCon’s banking panel, “Cashing In On Cannabis – Compliance, Banking and Cash Management” on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:30 am in seminar room two. Moderated by MJBA CEO and Co-Founder David Rheins, the panel consists of Kenneth Berke, Christine Masse and Myles Khan.

Ken is the Co-Founder and CEO of PayQwick, Inc., a compliance, cash management and electronic payment processing platform that has facilitated regular business bank accounts for over 200 licensed marijuana businesses throughout Washington. He is also an attorney with 29 years of experience and has advocated for the legal marijuana industry before regulators throughout the U.S.

Christine Masse is a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, where she leads the government and regulatory affairs practice group and specializes in representing businesses in highly regulated industries with their transactional, regulatory, and public policy needs. She also leads the firm’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on matters such as marijuana.

Myles is a legal officer at Foundry Law. His practice focuses on corporate, entertainment, intellectual property, business development, cannabis and regulatory matters. Myles also owns Buddy’s, one of Washington’s most prominent marijuana retailers.
The panel will focus on how businesses can reduce their cash use, secure bank accounts and remain compliant. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists.