A bath bomb shop which sells aromatherapy products containing CBD has had its PayPal and merchant trading accounts frozen because the cannabis oil is illegal in the USA.
Jane and Mike Wood who run BonneBomb in Deal said the giant’s decision led to them being dropped by other payment gateways Braintree and Stripe and has affected card payments to their online store.
They have also been banned from selling – and even buying non CBD goods for their personal use from eBay.
CBD is legal in the UK and in larger strengths it is prescribed for medical purposes in this country.
Despite this, non medicinal cannabis is classed as a narcotic in the United States and that is why the American firm said the Woods are in breach of its acceptable use policy.
“It makes you feel dirty when they say that – you feel like you’re selling top shelf products,” said Mrs Wood.
The independent business owners are particularly galled because PayPal still works with larger traders Holland & Barrett, which sells age restricted CBD capsules, drops and creams.
Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Wood had to ask customers to make bank transfers instead of debit card or PayPal payments until they “jumped through enough hoops” to secure another gateway.
BonneBomb has been present in Deal for four years. They were at King Street for two years and they moved to the larger Queen Street shop in 2017.
They started selling CBD products at the beginning of the year and the trouble with merchants started in June.
“I got a phone call from our merchant Braintree in Philidelphia and they said ‘we noticed you are selling CBD products. We don’t allow that with our gateway. If you take them all off your website we will be able to continue working with you.’
“I said ‘How about I take your gateway off our website?”
“Then we had an email from PayPal, because Braintree is a branch of PayPal. They said they were ‘happy at the moment’ because we were in such good standing with them, but they had to look into things.
“We continued a couple of months after and they only closed our account about three to four weeks ago with £83 still in it.”
A PayPal spokesman said: “As reflected in our Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal currently does not permit the use of our payments platform for the sale of products containing Cannabidiol (CBD)”.
An eBay spokesman said: “Products containing CBD oil are prohibited on eBay as there is no way to determine how much THC, which is a controlled substance, is in the product.”
Elsewhere, Captain Jack’s in Central Parade, Herne Bay, has started selling beverages containing cannabidiol (CBD) over the next two weeks, with a price tag of £18.
And the owners of a sweet shop are also selling confectionery infused with the substance.
Sweet Sol on the Joseph Wilson Estate in Whitstable started selling the sweets in March.
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