A cannabis plant
A bottle of CBD oil with a pipette in front of it
CBD High-Risk Verification

Avoid going up in smoke with the right due diligence

Onboarding a merchant selling cannabidiol (CBD) products without proper due diligence puts your business at risk of serious financial and reputational harm. Regulators and card schemes will take aggressive action if laws are violated. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Outsource your risk

Not everyone has the resources for a full risk assessment of every new merchant. That’s where we come in. We offer an in-depth analysis of any merchant offering CBD products.

A safe pair of hands

If needed, we connect you directly with experienced underwriters well-versed in card scheme rules, with deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the CBD regulatory landscape.

Let us help you get compliant

Six steps to CBD merchant compliance

1. Product detection

Our tried-and-tested web crawler and expert underwriting team tell you what kind of products the merchant sells on their website, including their THC levels.

2. Shipping compliance

Find out where the merchant is shipping their product to and where their website visitors are coming from. Get detailed information about if CBD is regulated or illegal in these jurisdictions.

3. Deceptive statement detection

We highlight false medicinal claims and other potentially deceptive statements for you.

4. Analyse lab reports

To sell CBD products legally in certain jurisdictions, the merchant needs lab reports from third-party laboratories to determine THC levels. We ensure they are in order.

5. Identify necessary disclaimers

In most jurisdictions, regulatory authorities require that merchants inform consumers about age restrictions, product applicability, possible health concerns, and more. We identify if they do.

6. Expert advice

Get mitigation recommendations for every issue we detect for the merchant’s website.


The rules and regulations around CBD are many. We shine a light on some of them for you.

Why is CBD problematic?

Derived from cannabis, an internationally controlled substance, CBD poses a challenge to payment professionals and regulatory agencies alike. In some instances, this also affects CBD products. There are currently little or no consistent approaches toward CBD products.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that local regulators often do not have a clear and consistent approach to CBD products. Laws and regulations may vary depending on jurisdictions and product categories (e.g. CBD gummies versus Epidyolex, a CBD-based medication used to treat epilepsy).

Is CBD regulated by the card schemes (similarly to cryptocurrencies)?

For the card schemes, the legality of the transaction in both the merchant’s and cardholder’s jurisdictions is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, neither Visa nor Mastercard currently have a special policy that targets CBD.

What are the differences in the approach towards CBD products by jurisdictions?

In the EU, the main legislation regulating CBD products is the Novel Foods Regulation, according to which products that have been classified by the European Commission as novel foods require authorisation prior to being sold on the market. In the USA, The FDA is in charge of federal regulations that relate to CBD products, but in the absence of consequent regulations, each state has been developing their own legislation.

What are the main risks associated with CBD merchants?

The legality of CBD represents the main challenge for both merchants and their acquirers. In some jurisdictions, like Sweden and Norway, CBD is regulated as a prescription-only pharmaceutical. In other jurisdictions, such as Belarus, CBD is considered an illegal drug, because it is technically a cannabis derivative. And in yet other jurisdictions, such as Ireland and Latvia, even trace amounts of THC that would be permissible elsewhere make certain CBD products illegal.

As for payment professionals, they must be aware of laws and regulations in both the merchant's and cardholder's jurisdiction to make sure that the transaction involving CBD products is legal.

What are the main risks in the UK?

Before selling a CBD-infused product in the UK, it’s necessary to obtain an authorisation from the Food Standards Agency. Yet some Scottish merchants were caught repackaging CBD foods and selling them as cosmetics, which is obviously not allowed. In this case, it isn’t the CBD  that’s making the transaction questionable. It's the actions of the merchants that are putting consumers at risk. Currently, the FSA is in the process of authorising “novel” CBD products for sale and none have received a full authorisation for sale so far.

Generate safe revenue with CBD merchants

Get expert support whenever you need it or get your team the specialised tools they need to efficiently manage the risks of your CBD merchant portfolio.