Dear Stoner: Why Do Some Dispensaries Accept Credit or Debit Cards?

Dear Stoner: I’ve noticed a few random dispensaries accept credit or debit cards as payment. I thought that stores were all cash-only because banks wouldn’t work with them.

Dear Travis: Even with all of the business conferences in which white-collar investors line up to get involved with cannabis-related companies, many parts of the industry remain stuck in the wild, wild West. Although the Obama administration and the Department of Justice have said they won’t go after banks that handle pot money in states where it is legal, few banks will take the chance — and that can leave businesses suddenly scrambling. More than a hundred Colorado dispensaries had cashless ATMs from South Dakota-based MetaBank until last October, when MetaBank discovered that the machines were being used by marijuana businesses and shut them down.

Still, while it’s true that banks don’t want to handle pot money and run afoul of the feds, a few companies have found some creative ways around that. Here’s the word from the manager of a Colorado dispensary chain who would like to remain anonymous: “Some owners will start another business with a different name, kind of like a holding company that owns the dispensary, and then register with the bank under it so the dispensaries remain unknown. If the name of the company owning the dispensary was ‘Alternative Health Creations,’ then ‘Denver Pot Shop’ won’t come up on the transaction. But once the banks find out, it usually means it’s time for a new bank.”

Moral of the story: Always bring cash, just in case, and don’t expect to see dispensaries taking plastic until legalization comes at the federal level.

Dear Stoner: How can I make my blunts last longer? They smoke way too fast.
Twisty Jones

Dear Twisty: A properly rolled blunt can smoke for at least thirty minutes if you shove enough herb into it, but if you’re looking for some steroids, keep a small amount of hash oil around, and carefully apply it to the inside or outside of your blunt. Not only will the joint burn longer, but it will also hit you with a ridiculously strong fade. Put a glob on a paper clip or dab-piece with a flame under it until it begins to melt (not too close, or it’ll burn), and then start applying. Some people put real honey on their blunts to prolong the smoke and add flavor — but there’s little research on what that can do to your lungs. No one says you can’t experiment, but always proceed with caution. 

Got a question for our stoner? Hit us up at or leave a message on the potline at 303-293-2222. And watch for his report on the Colorado Board of Health hearing this morning at 4:20 today.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego