Intuit Backs Down: Quickbooks Maker Allows Marijuana Firm to Reconnect Account

Intuit, the maker of widely used small business software and accounting services, has increasingly been drawn to the fore of the banking discussion as legitimate marijuana businesses, often still without a bank account, attempt to track expenses and manage their finances any way they can.

Right now the vast majority of dispensaries, recreational shops and those who directly deal with the plant are still out of luck when it comes to Quickbooks. The issue is less with the purchase of the software, which anyone can do, and more with the company’s managed services. On May 25, 2015, the company revoked the merchant services of Alternative Medical Choices medical marijuana clinic citing as the reason that marijuana was featured on the clinic’s website.

However, there are already significant gray areas that are popping up as more and more industry-focused support services come online, even though they do not directly “touch the plant” itself.

Last month, Evan Nison, a nationally known legalization advocate, NORML national board member and the owner of a small public relations consultancy business, was also denied services by Intuit because the Risk department told him that any affiliation with medical marijuana represented an “unacceptable business type.”

When Marijuana Investor News reached out for comment, however, right before Thanksgiving, the company appeared to have changed its stance. Stephen Sharpe, an Intuit company spokesman, said that Nison’s account was “closed due to an error on our part. We have since contacted the customer to reconnect the account. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.”

Sharpe also passed on Intuit’s current policy with working with marijuana businesses.

Intuit Payment Solutions helps small business customers process electronic payments. Unfortunately, there are some types of businesses and transaction types that Intuit cannot process — including marijuana in any form.  This is included in our Merchant Services Agreement. As is common practice in the payments space, Intuit follows a published acceptable use policy that outlines the nature of customers it is able to service.  This list is not a value judgment regarding the underlying legitimate businesses themselves.  Some categories of business simply present greater financial risk or oversight to meet our legal obligations or our commitments to our financial institution partners.

After this development, Nison said, “I’m glad Intuit changed their stance on my account after taking a second look at our business. Cannabis legalization is something that a majority of Americans support, and it’s within the best interest of Intuit to avoid being known as a company that’s on the wrong side of that. I’m grateful Intuit acknowledges this and apologized for the mistake.”

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