Today, everyone and their mother, including Martha Stewart and Kim Kardashian West, is selling industrialized hemp (CBD) products. Can this one “miracle plant” really change the way we take control of our health … forever? We think so. That’s why we’ve been offering industrialized hemp (CBD) since 2016!
But the truth is not every product is made the same and there’s a lot of slime and politics involved. As a crusader on the front lines of the lucrative CBD market, we became a casualty of an asinine system that caters to Big Pharma, disinformation, fear, and greed.
There is a gap in education when it comes to what is really happening behind the scenes of the CBD market. Technofascism is real and so is the corruption associated with this sacred plant compound. Why for instance has the system tried to shut us down and shut us up?
In 2018, Trump voted in the farm bill and CBD was removed as a Schedule 1 drug and yet the shenanigans continue!! At the time HoneyColony made US history by becoming one of the first to offer credit card processing via US Bank for CBD sales. And then 1000 accounts, and less than four months later, Elavon/US Bank announced that on May 15, 2019, the will drop all the CBD accounts they onboarded. Many received letters, including us:
Dear Valued Customer,As a federally regulated organization, Elavon is committed to complying with all federal and state laws regulating cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp-derived products. In this evolving marketplace, the challenge for financial institutions is to find the balance between serving our valued customers and maintaining the highest standards of legal and regulatory compliance.With this in mind, we have decided to no longer offer payment services to businesses designated as CBD and hemp-derived product merchants.After May 15, 2019, we will no longer be able to process card transactions for your business and will close your card processing account.
“We’re very frustrated and angry (about the complications),” says Jonathan Miller, one of the nation’s leading advocates for the full legalization of industrial hemp who worked directly with Sen. McConnell to get the hemp provision included in the farm bill. “There should be NO issues processing CBD sales from hemp.”
But that has NOT been the case. Although the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill removed many restrictions on hemp, the full regulatory framework for finance and banking services to the industry is still open to interpretation. And the bill does not provide explicit legal clarification on distribution, production, and marketing of CBD products. Are CBD products food? Drugs? Cosmetics? Or somewhere in between?
What the farm bill does say is that it explicitly preserves FDA’s authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act. Analysts in the space expect it will take the FDA anywhere between one and three years to clarify regulations.
For now, many processors are taking on CBD accounts but only if the company processes $100k or more a month. What does this tell us? Do they want to squeeze out the smaller players? Or only care about money? Others in this space promise solutions but are skirting the system.
Meanwhile, HoneyColony just learned that Square, who also shut us down in 2017, is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products. According to Square, they continuously monitor the changing laws and requirements and work with payment partners to open up new opportunities for our sellers.
According to CBD Intel, “proposed new federal legislation in the US could finally help CBD businesses gain easier access to banking, a problem that has bedeviled legal cannabis-related industries since their inception. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act could provide legal cover to a range of ancillary support businesses necessary for the full functioning of the US CBD sector. But the bill faces stiff opposition – and could be scuppered by legislators from the few states that have not legalized any cannabis product.”
The bill, expected to get a House floor vote later this year (see draft), prevents federal authorities from shutting out any “cannabis-related business” from financial services.
“The bill would allow financial institutions and their employees the choice to do business with cannabis companies, according to Ed Perlmutter, a Democratic representative from Colorado and author of the bill,” adds the same CBD Intel article.
Meanwhile, on May 31st, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be holding a public hearing in Maryland. This is YOUR opportunity to VOICE your concerns and help us fight for this miraculous plant medicine!! During the meeting, the FDA will obtain scientific data and information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.
Update: A great grandmother recently got arrest for having CBD oil on her person while at Disney World in Orlando. The charge was later dropped, but the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said its deputy was following the law. This exemplifies the ignorance and confusion on the matter.