Why PayPal and Stripe Doesn’t Support CBD Transactions

Many novice CBD business owners have made the mistake of integrating their online store with PayPal or Stripe, only to be shut down and frustrated.

CBD might be legal at both the state and federal levels, but these online payment-processing companies don’t seem to want to work with CBD companies.

Some CBD merchants have even taken PayPal to the courts for freezing their accounts. Still, it doesn’t seem like there’s any hope for change.

As a CBD merchant, you should stop relying on PayPal or Stripe for CBD-related transactions. Check to see what payment gateways are friendly to CBD companies.

How PayPal Can Affect Your Business

If you have been using PayPal in your “vanilla” businesses to collect payments, it’s easy to assume that PayPal will still be reliable for your CBD store.

PayPal has a policy against “high risk” merchants, and CBD businesses are lumped in this high-risk category along with marijuana businesses and gambling.

As a CBD merchant, if you use traditional payment systems like PayPal and Stripe, you’re literally putting your business in harm’s way.

PayPal won’t have any qualms about freezing your account and withholding your funds for what seems like forever while your customers raise hell on the other side.

This Is What PayPal and Stripe Told Me about CBD Payments

Last week, after reading a sob story of a novice CBD business owner who was done in by PayPal, I took it upon myself to find out why PayPal won’t touch CBD money while it supports the sale of alcoholic beverages.

I contacted their customer satisfaction team, explaining that I wished to start a CBD business, but I was distressed by the fact that I couldn’t rely on PayPal, since I had seen too many instances of PayPal being unreliable, and downright hostile.

A few hours later, someone replied telling me that PayPal doesn’t support any CBD-related transactions. I asked them, why is that? The extraction and sale of CBD was legalized in 2018 with the passing of the Farm Bill, and CBD is legal at both the state and federal levels [1].

A short time passed, and I sent a new message pointing out that Walmart was stocked to the brim with hemp products, and that Walmart customers have the option of paying for these products through PayPal. If Walmart was worthy of selling hemp products through PayPal, was it not hypocritical to deprive average businesses of the right to do that?

I got no reply.

The following day, I contacted PayPal again about the issue, and a rep promptly replied stating that if I didn’t have any other questions I should close the ticket.

I went to Stripe to raise the same issue and they declared that they don’t support any transactions that involve CBD products.

What Online Payment Processors Are Friendly for CBD Businesses?

At the end of the day, these traditional payment-processing companies like PayPal and Stripe are private companies, and it’s not as if you can arm-twist them into being friendly to your business.

Many payment-processing companies are supporting CBD transactions. And even though they might not have a broad range of features and flexibility like PayPal or Stripe, what matters is that they can be relied on.

1. Square

Square is actually a massive payment processor that supports CBD transactions. Although they used to have a hard-line stance against CBD products, they recently created a CBD program where merchants are vetted before being allowed to sell CBD on their platform. Before Square starts accepting your payments, they make sure that your products meet quality standards, especially concerning THC content. Their CBD early access program was launched in 2019, and it has continued to grow in terms of features and flexibility.

2. USAePay

This payment processor has been around since the 90s, and it has no discriminatory tendencies. You can integrate your business with USAePay and they will collect payment for your CBD goods. They have an excellent customer satisfaction team.

3. PayKings

Thousands of CBD merchants are affiliated with PayKings. It has proven to be an excellent payment processor that caters to the unique demands of the CBD industry. Merchants enjoy fast integration, fast approval, and reasonable rates. PayKings also have top-notch architecture.

4. Easy Pay Direct

Easy Pay Direct was started in 2000, and it’s a company that serves both low-risk and high-risk merchants. They make it easy for CBD merchants to get payments. Their platform is feature-rich, and their pricing is reasonable.

Factors to Consider Before Signing Up for an Online Payment Processor

As a CBD merchant, PayPal and Stripe won’t pick you up, but still, there’s an endless list of options out there. The following are some of the things that you need to check to see if an online payment processor has before signing up.

Does it support high-risk merchant accounts: CBD may be legal at both the state and federal level, but the CBD industry is still targeted by frauds, thus typically making CBD transactions a bit high-risk [2]. Check to see that the payment-processing gateway supports high-risk transactions like bitcoin trading and gambling.

Does it provide seamless integrations: quality payment processing gateways should easily integrate with platforms. Payment processors that require you to switch to a new platform typically cause you to waste a lot of time and money.

Is it affordable: various CBD payment-processing gateways have various payment terms. You can play around with the figures to determine the true cost. Especially if you’re a new business owner, it’s critical to keep the costs down, which is why you should go for payment processing companies that are reasonably priced.

Customer support: not every day things are going to be rosy. On some days, customers will give you hell, especially with chargebacks, and you’ll need the assistance of customer reps to overcome such challenges.

The Takeaway: Stripe and PayPal VS CBD Merchants

If you’re looking to start a CBD business, and wish to integrate with payment-processing gateways like PayPal or Stripe, it’s not workable. Both PayPal and Stripe have maintained that they don’t support CBD-related transactions. But you can choose from hundreds of other payment-processing systems for your CBD business.

Sources:

  1. Gicewicz, E., Gatewood, S. S., Kaefer, T. N., Nadpara, P., & Goode, J. V. R. (2021). Assessment of hemp oil–based cannabidiol use in a community-based pharmacy setting. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
  2. Berg, C. J., Getachew, B., Pulvers, K., Sussman, S., Wagener, T. L., Meyers, C., … & Henriksen, L. (2020). Vape shop owners’/managers’ attitudes about CBD, THC, and marijuana legal markets. Preventive Medicine Reports20, 101208.

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