The New York Times profiled a new startup, Tokken, headed by Larmine Zarrad. The company is trying to solve the same problem that rivals Hypur and Kind Financial are pursuing: How to get around the fact that the industry is cash-only for the most part and that most banks won’t accept that cash.
Zarrad joined the Marine Corps, worked on Wall Street and then served as a bank examiner at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where he began to better understand the challenges to the state-legal but federally illegal cannabis industry. In contrast to its rivals, which use hardware and software solutions, Tokken is working on an electronic payment system that bypasses traditional credit or debit networks.relying upon the blockchain. The company, which is looking to raise capital, hopes to have its product ready later this year.
Read Nathaniel Popper’s “As Marijuana Sales Grow, Start-Ups Step In for Wary Banks”: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/17/business/dealbook/as-marijuana-sales-grow-start-ups-step-in-for-wary-banks.html