American Express Nixes Purchase of Medical Marijuana - Other News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Other » American Express Nixes Purchase of Medical Marijuana

American Express Nixes Purchase of Medical Marijuana

American Express Nixes Purchase of Medical Marijuana
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Even though the purchase of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal in 15 states, American Express will no longer allow cardholders to pay for such purchases with their cards. Purchasers can still use their VISA, MasterCard and Discover cards, but they might want to leave their AmEx cards at home.

The Medical Uses

Stoners might tell you marijuana is good for curing a stomach ache, nausea and a slew of other things. But you don’t have to be a stoner to reap the benefits of marijuana, as it is now legal in 15 states to use the herb for medical purposes. Doctors prescribe the herb as they would any other medication, and patients head over to their local dispensary to get their prescription filled. Some of the conditions which warrant a prescription include nausea,vomiting, and lack of appetite among chemotherapy and AIDS patients, as well as glaucoma and gastrointestinal illness.

AmEx Backs Out of the Business

Despite the fact that people making purchases at legal dispensaries are doing nothing illegal according to their state’s laws, AmEx has apparently decided to adhere to the federal law in this matter. The blog LASnark was the first to release the news, citing an email notice from a dispensary in Hollywood called The Farmacy. The email stated that AmEx had opted for a nationwide policy change. According to the dispensary, beginning on April 30, they were unable to process any transactions on AmEx cards and the company informed them of new guidelines. Others have attempted to contact the company, and they denied the new policy. However, according to the LA Weekly, an AmEx spokesperson confirmed the new policy. Although the company has gone back and forth about these changes, it seems they are indeed declining all purchases at dispensaries.

It’s unclear why the company has decided to stop supporting the legal purchase of medicinal marijuana, especially when the three other major credit card companies continue to do. Since AmEx cards are frequently used as business accounts, they could be attempting to avoid issues with employee purchases, as mentioned in the LA Weekly. Lucky for medical marijuana users, they can probably still resort to their debit cards, as most are tied to Visa. And there’s always cash.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

New Categories for Chase Freedom Cardholders
New Categories for Chase Freedom Cardholders

Posted: March 21, 2019

Four times a year people with the Chase Freedom Credit Card can earn enhanced rewards in key areas, and they have just announced the new categories. This coming quarter cardholders earn 5% cash back when they shop for groceries or at a… Continue reading

Mastercard Set to Buy Ethoca
Mastercard Set to Buy Ethoca

Posted: March 20, 2019

Credit Card security is something that everyone is mindful of these days, and in keeping with this theme, Mastercard is set to buy Ethoca, a company that specializes in helping both retailers and card issuers detect and resolve digital… Continue reading

American Express Set to Buy Lounge Buddy
American Express Set to Buy Lounge Buddy

Posted: March 19, 2019

American Express is well known for their Centurion Lounge network, and now they are upping the ante with the purchase of LoungeBuddy, a digital platform designed to help people find and book time in airport lounges around the world. While… Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
For Excellent, Good Credit
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
For Excellent, Good Credit
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
For Average, Fair, Limited Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!