Payment Processors Purge All Ancillary Marijuana Startups After Trump
Dozens of companies selling ancillary products and services in the marijuana industry were purged from mainstream payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Square in January and February. Entrepreneurs say it happened at around the same time that the Trump White House suggested federal enforcement against recreational marijuana might be increased and after Attorney General Jeff Sessions described the legal marijuana industry as “violent.”
These startup businesses, companies selling vaporizers, CBD products, and software to marijuana users or marijuana companies, were kicked off payment processors and other mainstream business platforms en masse as a result, entrepreneurs affected by the purge say.
Shanel Lindsay, the founder of Boston-based startup named Ardent, which makes a decarboxylator, a device that lightly cooks cannabis flowers to be used in edibles, says she has been bounced from PayPal, Square, Stripe, and at least four other payment processors. Lindsay says she missed a total of three weeks in sales while waiting to be approved by an offshore payment processor during the first two months of Trump’s presidency.
“Everyone running an ancillary business got kicked off all at once,” says Lindsay. “It was an unrelenting wave; you could not deny it. All of the banks seemed to be highly attuned to the issue and there was no flying under the radar.”