CBD payment processors are connected to those willing to sort out the potential perceived risk in doing banking with a new and potentially high-risk industry.
Square is the most CBD-friendly platform. Shopify makes it complicated, they charge extra, and may require you to hire a Shopify Expert. BigCommerce has several additional resources beyond CBD payment processing. Local banks might work with your CBD company. Stripe, PayPal, Venmo doesn’t allow any CBD processing.
Below, we’ll take a look at a few critical areas to consider, plan, and foresee before committing to a payment processor.
How do I accept CBD payments?
Several platforms are now starting to accept CBD payment processing in high-risk categories, including Square.
Most of the well-known payment processors don’t explicitly allow you to process CBD payments.
Those who are somewhat successfully using a payment processor that doesn’t specifically allow CBD payment processing are gambling and are risking getting their funds held while potentially getting banned from that platform.
What Payment Processors Actually Allow CBD?
With CBD rising in popularity, more payment processors are opening up to allowing you to process CBD through their platform.
CBD-Friendly Payment Processors.
- Square – most simple and affordable
- Easy Pay Direct – transparent pricing
- SMB – best for high volume sales
- High-Risk Buddy
While shopping around to find what CBD payment processor will work best for your business, there are a handful of critical areas to look for before fully committing.
Since all CBD companies are in the high-risk category, your payment processor is taking a risk in allowing you to process CBD payments through their system.
What this means is that you’ll want to partner with a CBD payment processor that will actually work with you to make sure you’re fully compliant, as well as making sure you understand how to stay compliant.
Along with transparent pricing, you’ll want to also make sure your CBD payment processor has a wide variety of merchant service tools that will meet your needs as they arise.
If any issue were to pop up, it’s best to partner with a CBD payment processor that has outstanding customer service to help you solve any potential problem.
Facebook and other social media groups have endless amounts of random strangers who claim they can help you with your CBD payment processor issues.
Unfortunately, random strangers online can open you up to more risk and trouble than it would be to partner with an established payment processing company.
Does PayPal process CBD sales?
Paypal currently labels CBD as a high-risk industry and does not currently allow you to process CBD payments through its platform.
As CBD, hemp, and cannabis legalization begin taking root in the public mind, this may change in the future.
Can I Sell CBD Through Square?
Yes. Square has a special program that’s open to businesses for selling CBD products through the Square payment processor.
Even though Square allows you to sell your CBD products through their system, there’s still a bit of a list of products you’re not allowed to sell.
After speaking with a Square representative directly and asking why some CBD companies are having a bad experience with Square freezing their account is due to a few compliance issues.
Square was completely open and honest about why you might get your account banned or frozen.
The primary reason was after a CBD company got accepted for their compliant CBD products the “bad” CBD company would sneak in products that are not allowed on the Square platform, such as glass paraphernalia.
Products not allowed on Square. (Source)
- Drug paraphernalia (glass smoking devices)
- Age-restricted products (such as tobacco)
- Various high-risk products and services
- Pharmacy referral services
- And any other illegal activity or goods
By not being straight with Square about the products you’re going to be selling through their platform is one of the quickest ways to get your account banned and your funds were frozen.
Some disgruntled CBD companies “claim” Square takes your money, even if you’re compliant.
After expressing these concerns with a Square representative, they verified this was simply not true.
Square has numerous representatives quickly available for you to chat with to quickly solve your problem.
The fact is, CBD is still in a bit of a high-risk grey area and in order to prevent any payment processor from holding your funds, the best method is to maintain full transparency and compliance.
Is Shopify CBD-Friendly?
After looking through the requirements for using Shopify to sell CBD, it initially appears to be quite a bit of a process that may require you to hire a Shopify Expert to help guide you through the entire process of understanding and staying compliant.
Shopify currently allows you to use their platform to sell certain hemp and hemp-derived products that do not make any medical or therapeutic claims.
In Canada, you must have a license to sell cannabis and you’re required to use Shopify Plus.
If you’re in the US, the first step is to go through the process Shopify has called, Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.
This Attestation simply confirms that you completely understand and agree to comply with the specific requirements for selling CBD products via Shopify.
If you’re operating in a state that explicitly allows the sale of CBD and you’re in full compliance with all regulations and laws applicable to your jurisdiction, you may consider using Shopify.
Even though Shopify is slowly opening up to strictly allowing a few very specific CBD products, under strict conditions, you need to understand that it’s still a risk.
Until every nuance within the hemp CBD industry is sorted out at all levels of government, CBD companies need to make extra sure they’re going through the proper channels to register their CBD business to avoid any potential crackdown, seizure of product, or freezing of assets.
Before taking on the risk of using any CBD payment platform, it’s highly recommended you consult with an industry lawyer to make sure you understand all aspects of the volatile regulations within the CBD space.
With the CBD industry currently in a constant state of change, it’s best to stay current on Shopify’s CBD policy.
In order to maintain a safe and smooth operation, you need to follow their policies to the letter without navigating into any grey territory.
Does BigCommerce allow CBD?
BigCommerce works with CBD Retailers, CBD Manufacturers, CBD Distributors, and businesses just getting started with CBD.
Not only does BigCommerce facilitate merchant processing, but they can also help you with compliant marketing & advertising, banking, shipping, wholesale, and insurance.