The Florida bank started researching the business after Ken LaRoe, its chairman, saw how medical marijuana had helped his wife cope with a severe injury. First Green is now turning a profit on this business a year after adding its first pot-related client.
The machine is among the more commonly pitched solutions for high-risk merchants that can't normally handle payment cards because banks won’t partner with them. But for dispensaries, they can be a hassle.
It may be a bigger challenge than financial institutions realize to avoid the cannabis sector, which includes a whole host of ancillary businesses from agricultural supply sellers to real estate developers.
Democratic lawmakers in favor of legitimizing marijuana business are not being discouraged by the Trump administration's comments indicating it may pursue a federal crackdown in states where pot is legal.