Credit Cards and CBD/Hemp

Goals

Support the setup of a website aimed at selling CBD and Hemp products by providing a report on which companies will process credit card sales for those products online in the USA, with a specific focus on New York State. Along with a list of those companies, the report should provide how to contact them and a backgrounder on each company (for example, their reputation).

Early Findings

The Current State of the Market

  • Selling CBD only became federally legal recently, thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. It has to contain less than 0.3% THC and has to be sourced from industrial hemp. However, its association with marijuana (which is still illegal under federal law) creates problems with payment processors and getting approved for a merchant account can be difficult. The usual companies like Paypal, Stripe, and Square don't allow this transaction yet.
  • Because of the perceived high risk of these transactions, CBD sellers have often had to rely on processors that charged high fees and added charges. Some examples of these are eMerchant Broker, DigiPay, and Authorize.net, which may take 6-8% or more per transaction.
  • In October 2019, Square launched a payment-processing system specifically for CBD sellers. It serves as a liaison between merchants and credit card companies, basically assuring the latter of due diligence and allowing merchants to get access to better processors. It also lets merchants track sales through a single platform.
  • However, all is not smooth sailing- in June of the same year, Stripe (which used to service the nonprofit U.S. Hemp Authority) dropped them as a client as they were considered a liability. The US Bank's processor, Elavon, also began shutting down hemp-related accounts in April of that year.

PROPRIETARY RESEARCH AVAILABLE

We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners, Daedal Research, which may be helpful. The full report covers the size, trends and forecast for the US Cannabidiol (CBD) Market (2019-2023), and is $850, but the section on the market trend of rapidly growing online retail MAY target what you need and is only $83.50.

Proposed next steps:

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