How I Helped Save a CBD eCommerce Business from Payment Processor Shut Down

Est. Reading Time -3 | August 8th, 2023
payment processor shutdown

by Joe Battaglia, Director of Sales

I was recently contacted by the owner of a CBD eCommerce business. He had been using Square for payment processing since he opened his business and suddenly was told his account was going to be shut down.  He needed a new payment processor ASAP to keep his business up and running!

When this owner originally applied for a merchant account for processing with Square, he was immediately approved.  For over 4 years, his CBD eCommerce payment processing went smoothly.  There was no problem with the payment platform.  Then out of the blue he was contacted by Square and notified that he was being randomly audited.

After the audit was complete, he was told he had 2 weeks before Square shut down his account.  They did not provide specific reasons why the account was being closed.  Nor did they provide any potential remedies.  So, this owner was in a serious bind.

He had 2 weeks to find a new payment processor, apply for a merchant account, get approved and start processing – Fast!

This situation is somewhat abnormal from what I hear from many CBD clients in that typically, CBD related businesses will have their accounts suspended / shut down without any warning at all The owners are stuck without the ability to accept and process payments, seriously impacting their business. (Particularly devastating during the busiest shopping season of the year!)

Unfortunately, I hear about situations like this on a regular basis.  Some of the big companies in this space make it so easy for absolutely anyone to start accepting payments immediately.  The quick timeframe is often appealing, especially to business owners anxious to get going on sales.  However, there can be a big drawback in that these big companies don’t do their due diligence upfront.  They approve merchants quickly, then when they later decide to perform due diligence, that’s when they decide a merchant isn’t compliant and suspend or shut down their account.  Or worse yet, withhold funds in addition to suspension! 

Avoid payment processor shut down

Here at VMS, we do our due diligence upfront.  We have an in-house Certified Commercial Cannabis Expert.  As part of the underwriting phase, our expert will go through your website and recommend any necessary changes to ensure you are in full compliance.  Most often what he finds are easy changes to websites.  Changing a word here and there, adding or removing verbiage, adding your return policy, etc.  The key point here is that this expert will let the owners know what changes they need to make to ensure compliance.  Once any questionable items are corrected, they move through the underwriting process for approval.

For this particular client, the VMS team worked quickly to help him complete the application and underwriting process.  Our CCCE expert helped ensure his website was compliant.  And we got him processing payments by the time his Square account was closed, so he missed no opportunities for making sales!

Maybe the application process with some of the big payment processors is quick and easy, but is that worth the risk of suddenly being shut down a year or more later?

If you don’t want to worry about this risk, contact me today.  We’ll help keep your business up and processing.  And we’ll likely save you a good amount of money, too! 


Call, text or email me. 

Joe Battaglia, Director of Sales –  (716) 313-2088




Our dedicated team cares about you and your business!  In the ever-changing landscape of online business, compliance is non-negotiable. Ensuring your website aligns with industry regulations isn’t just about meeting requirements; it’s about securing your business’s future.
That’s why we’re offering a no-obligation Free Website Compliance Review, your key to a compliant online presence. Our expert team, led by certified professionals, will assess your website, highlighting potential compliance issues and offering actionable strategies to resolve them. Take the proactive step toward compliance today, and let your business thrive with confidence.

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