From Slopes to Sand, Winter Greens Cannabis Delivery Finds Steady Solution in Dama Payments

It was a big day for Winter Greens when I spoke to owner Todd Winter, as his Orange County, California delivery-only cannabis store had finally arrived at opening day. This Costa Mesa, California location is the second of two such Winter Greens delivery locations, the first having been established in 2018 in Truckee, California, near Lake Tahoe.

Winter had relocated his family to the area from Orange County and found the need to service both the Tahoe region’s local and tourist population with dependable, compliant cannabis delivery service when he started his first store. But the Winter Greens Orange County location was a bit more challenging to get up and running.

A cannabis-progressive city in an otherwise largely conservative county, Winter Greens’ Costa Mesa location came after over a year of regulatory compliance requirements. Something to be expected from a city new to the recreational cannabis market and still discovering what regulations work, and which are merely bureaucratic.

A practicing attorney by trade, Winter was able to navigate the challenges. With a portfolio of notable clients including Eureka Vapor, Pacific Stone, Humboldt’s Finest, and Kush Bottles, WINTER LLP has helped small and medium hemp and cannabis businesses navigate the ins-and-outs of regulatory nuances.

Despite the unpredictable hurdles he would encounter opening his Orange County operation, one thing Winter had in place the whole time was his payment solution.

The Problem

It’s customary for cannabis operators to encounter struggles managing a primarily cash transaction business in a world of traditional banking. With cannabis still federally illegal, business owners face severe limitations on how to manage their banking and payment needs. Cannabis operators frequently try to apply traditional solutions to an untraditional business, and for Winter, the experience was no different.

Winter Greens first attempted to manage transactions and banking with a traditional bank account. That works for so long, until the bank finally, and ultimately figures out you’re not selling Beanie Babies or whatever other business you’ve claimed to be conducting. This leads to a nightmare scenario where a cannabis operator’s funds are either held indefinitely or never released.

It never came to that for Winter Greens, but the interim solution was short lived. The company next tried to conduct its banking business through a credit bureau, but that proved to be a temporary solution as well. Limitations on cash withdrawals, deposits, and the availability of funds make credit bureaus a patchwork of difficulty to work with. As a last resort, Winter Greens used Square as a transaction solution, but that, too, proved short lived.

The Dama Solution

Ultimately, Winter discovered Dama Financial and its suite of financial solutions tailored for cannabis operators. With an account managed by Dama there are no limits on deposit frequency or amounts, and no frustrating end-of-month caps on account size. Dama follows all FinCEN and BSA/AML rules, adheres to Cole Memo priorities, and stays current with state and federal regulations to ensure clients remain fully compliant, something important to Winter. 


Once Winter Greens was up and running with Premier Banking, Winter integrated Paytender into the company’s point of sale system. Text-to-pay electronic payments now account for nearly 40 percent of overall sales at his Truckee location.

“We love Paytender, we try to get everyone on it,” he said. “Once you’re set up, it’s really incredible, and so easy to use. Everyone who uses it loves it. Our drivers love it too. The tip feature is great.”

Once users have signed up on paytender solution, and have successfully linked their bank account, the system generates a “QR code” which, sent to a user’s phone, enables the payment will be continued on a mobile device. Next, the user receives a text from Winter Greens with a link to paytender to complete the transaction to pay for their delivery before it arrives.

With Dama’s proven, reliable banking and transaction solutions in place, Winter Greens Orange County is poised for success. The company has even created a rewards program for its customers converting 3% of every order placed into “Winter Greens Rewards” to be redeemed at checkout.

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