Some medical marijuana dispensaries no longer accepting debit cards

Recreational pot shops set to open in Massachusetts in July

FILE - This Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 photo shows jars of medical marijuana on display on the counter of Western Caregivers Medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions green-lighted federal prosecutors to pursue violators of federal marijuana laws, not only states that legalized recreational pot are at risk of a crackdown, but so is most of the rest of America. All but four states allow some form of medical marijuana, even Sessions' home state of Alabama. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(WPRI) — Some local medical marijuana dispensaries stopped accepting debit cards after a policy change made at the federal level last week.

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy that allowed states to legalize marijuana without federal intervention.

Under Sessions’ memo, it’s now up to each state’s U.S. Attorney to decide if and when to prosecute growers, users, or sellers of pot.

The top prosecutor in Massachusetts issued a memo Monday saying he could not guarantee his office wouldn’t get involved in the Bay State’s marijuana trade.

After that statement was issued, a bank that processes medical marijuana transactions in many Massachusetts and Rhode Island dispensaries decided to pull out of the cannabis market.

That bank worked with two local dispensaries — Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick, and Green Leaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth.

According to the Providence Journal, those two medical marijuana dispensaries stopped accepting debit cards Tuesday afternoon.

The same thing happened at dispensaries in Quincy, Massachusetts.

“The banks are running scared, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen, that they’re gonna be held accountable,” said patient Greg Parquette. “So now you have to show up with cash only.”

With recreational pot shops set to open in Massachusetts in July, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is urging his state’s U.S. Attorney to focus his efforts on cracking down on the opioid epidemic, rather than the regulation of marijuana in the state.

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