Remember the story about the Spokane, Wash., marijuana dispensary accepting Bitcoin? There’s a new wrinkle in the ongoing story.
A week ago Washington’s Kouchlock Productions was smartly taking its buzzy story to the media: “Anybody can buy a Bitcoin, and anybody can come spend a Bitcoin here,” the shop’s Rachel Franzen told KXLY news. “The transaction happens within 12 seconds.” The story was fun, but it also hinted at a possible, if temporary, fix for the marijuana industry’s current banking woes.
But now the move — more publicity stunt than banking workaround — has hit a roadblock. While multiple people have used Bitcoin to pay for their pot at Kouchlock, they’ve collected less than a single Bitcoin; Even worse, the company Kouchlock was using to convert the Bitcoin to U.S. Dollars is refusing to work with them.
“We can’t service them as a customer because it’s still technically illegal federally,” a Coinbase spokesperson told Forbes.
Kouchlock can continue to accept Bitcoin, but converting it to a more stable and widely accepted monetary unit could prove to be an issue.
Bitcoin’s spastic value doesn’t make it an ideal candidate to help frustrated pot businesses that can’t legally and openly bank with federally regulated banks. And this news of a conversion issue doesn’t make the online-only currency any more appealing. That said, the idea of purchasing legal weed with a recently invented, in-the-news currency is so 21st century that some are likely doing it simply to say they did it.