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Credit card transactions canceled at California medical pot dispensaries

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images, file

Jars medical marijuana sit inside the Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010, in Los Angeles.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Credit cards are no longer being accepted at California medical marijuana dispensaries -- thanks to pressure from the federal government.

Someone -- likely the Treasury Department -- has informed credit card companies that they must no longer process credit card transactions involving medical marijuana, according to SF Weekly.

The credit card companies informed merchant services providers, who were warned that if they processed medical marijuana sales, they'd lose their relationships with Visa/Mastercard "forever" or face heavy fines, according to Stephen DeAngelo of Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the Bay Area's biggest dispensary.

See the story at NBCBayArea.com

It's merchant services providers who process credit card transactions between retailers and the banks and credit card companies, DeAngelo said. Merchant services providers informed dispensary clients that their accounts would be closed as of July 1, the newspaper reported.

California cities back at federal crackdown on medical marijuana

Dispensaries have gone cash-only or installed ATM machines, though some do accept debit cards, the newspaper reported.

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