San Francisco, CA—Thrive Market, an online natural and organic products marketplace, is no longer selling hemp extracts or topicals at the demand of the company that processes its customer payments, according to CNN.
Nick Green, Thrive’s CEO, wrote in a blog post: “We unfortunately have no choice but to comply, and we’ll begin removing our assortment as early as Thursday, June 20.” CNN noted that Thrive has been selling these products for more than 18 months.
CNN wrote that banks remain a challenge for hemp and marijuana companies—and while hemp companies hoped they had a better chance at freely banking after the passage of the Farm Bill, the US Hemp Authority has received notice that Stripe would no longer work with it even though it doesn’t actually work with hemp, and the as yet unnamed merchant processer used by Thrive is clearly choosing not to work with businesses that sell hemp and CBD. Square accepts some hemp/CBD clients on an invite-only basis; PaymentCloud takes clients on a case-by-case basis.
Green, however, is not giving up: “We belive that ethical and sustainable hemp is another cause worth fighting for, so rest assured that we will be working behind the scenes in the coming weeks to get hemp products back on Thrive Market. We’re already in conversations with a new processing partner to try to make that happen.”
Bob Crumley, CEO of Founder’s Hemp, told CNN that bank regulators need to issue clarifying guidance on hemp’s legal status: “The bankers are definitely scared, and I think rightly so. They’re very afraid of people saying they’re in the hemp industry and instead are pushing marijuana out the back door.” That said, he added: “Now that CVS and Walgreens [are selling hemp products], the credit card processors are processing hemp every day; they may not know it, but they are. So, then what’s the reason that they blanch at processing a hemp company?”