The Maryland Tobacco Inspection Act of 1747 established that all tobacco had to be inspected by colonial inspectors. Once the tobacco was inspected, tobacco "notes" were issued that certified the quality. Whoever held these tobacco notes owned the tobacco. A grower could pay a merchant 100 pounds of tobacco by simply signing over the notes to him. That way, he could go to the warehouse with the notes in hand and claim the tobacco as his. He could also give the merchant an I.O.U. that promised to pay him 100 pounds of tobacco in the future, when his crop came in. Before the Inspection Act, the merchant would be less willing to accept this I.O.U., since he would not be sure of the quality of tobacco. After the Inspection Act, the I.O.U. could promise to pay in "certified" tobacco.
Paper tobacco notes more easily functioned as money because bulk tobacco was hard to transport and the quality of tobacco was assured.