CBD suppliers have voiced their frustration about being denied banking services because of confusion over US law.
CBD entrepreuners in America told the Indianapolis Star they have been financially crippled by banks’ reluctance to handle transactions.
CBD is legal under US federal law, but conflicting state laws and the unregulated nature of the marketplace have muddied the waters.
David Calderon, the owner of Indiana CBD Wellness, a store in Indianopolis, was forced to accept cash because he could not find a bank to process card purchases.
He said: “We’d pick someone up, and then they would drop us and say, ‘Oh, you’re a CBD company. We can’t have anything to do with you’.”
The newspaper also spoke to Rebecca Raffle, the co-founder of Grow Cart Delivery, a daily delivery service for CBD products.
She said: “We’ve had three websites shut down — bank accounts. It’s a punch in the face.
“When they shut you down, they don’t tell you. They just freeze your accounts, and you don’t get your money back.”
US banks are required to file costly reports to the government about suspected suspicious or illegal activity being committed by customers, which can subject banks to potential seizure and large fines from the FDIC if they incorrectly report on the illicit transactions.
These reports are often subject to intense scrutiny and one single incorrect statement can bring consequences for the bank.
A spokesman for Elavon, a US Bank subsidiary, defended its refusal to do business with CBD merchants.
They said: “While a growing number of states have legalized marijuana, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
“As a federally regulated organization, we are committed to operating our business consistent with federal laws.”
Around 14% of American adults are currently taking CBD, equating to an enormous 49 million people.
Usage has risen in correspondence to last year’s change in federal law – the long awaited US Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the official narcotics list, making the controversial crop legal to grow and produce.