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The Complete CBD Payment Processing Guide for 2023

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Getting your CBD business started can be difficult and finding the right CBD friendly payment processor can often add to that difficulty.

The truth is, if having a great CBD product alone was the only step to having a successful CBD business, then you'd be set by partnering with Neurogan. However, there are few important steps in starting your business, including choosing the best CBD payment processor - and we think we've found it!

Here we'll set you up with what to expect and what to look for when choosing a CBD-approved payment processor and include our recommendation of who we work with for our CBD payment processing needs. 

What is a payment processor?

First things first, what is a payment processor?

When you become a merchant of a product, in this case CBD, you'll need to find a company who acts as the mediator between you and the financial institutions involved. Payment processors authorize transactions and are on your side to make sure you get paid on time by transferring funds and offering additional services such as, security solutions, customer support, and card acceptance. 

As you'll see in the graphic below, once the customer pays through your online store, they'll enter a payment gateway. Their payment within the gateway will have to go through a payment processor in order to reach the bank, and in order to ultimately reach your business' pocket. 

payment processor infographic

When will I need to choose a payment processor?

Choosing a payment processor will be an integral, foundational step, but it won't be your first matter of business. You'll want to have the initial framework of your business set-up before you've reached this step, including: a business name, an established LLC, a logo, a website, a private label partner, and a bank account. 

Check out our helpful top 10 tips when starting your own CBD business.

neurogan's top 10 tips infographic
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Why are CBD friendly payment processors rare?

What you may have heard or noticed in getting started with your CBD business, is just how few CBD friendly payment processors there are out there. 

The fact of the matter is that banks and payment processing companies are not too fond of working with the CBD industry, and this is because CBD businesses are considered "high-risk".

Why are CBD businesses considered "high-risk"?

CBD businesses are what payment processors and banks would consider "high-risk" businesses. Other industries considered high risk include: online gaming, online dating, pharmaceuticals, travel services, vaping devices, timeshares, and more.

Companies that offer financial services like low-risk and low-variability of change, and with CBD's constant legal confusion, banks feel apprehensive to get involved and wind up charging a pretty penny to CBD merchants. These institution's high cost and unwillingness to work with CBD entrepreneurs is disappointing and conflicting due to CBD's current legal status in the US and its overwhelming ability to help those in need. 

Fortunately, as CBD becomes more commonplace in society and consumer interest is peaked, more people are interested in starting CBD businesses. In turn, more companies are emerging every day looking to meet the demand for CBD friendly payment processing. 

However, keep in mind that when you're starting from scratch even with the right company, higher processing fees will come with each transaction. But not to worry, after about three months of being in business, you can apply for a better rate. 

Why are CBD businesses considered "high-risk"?

What do I look for in a payment processor?


You want a payment processor with CBD experience to guide you through working with payment gateways, e-commerce platforms, and other evolving challenges. If you partner with someone new to the industry, you could receive advice contrary to what is necessary for the very specialized and specific CBD industry. 


You want to partner with a payment processor who understands that a high-risk business doesn't mean a low-chance for success. There are processors out there keen to partner with high-risk businesses in order to push their expertise and customer accommodation to the next level. Payment processors who partner with high-risk businesses have a  willingness to find creative solutions and guidance and ideally have a business model that is poised on finding solutions for your success, and in turn, their success too. 


Every business owner's nightmare is having their business go offline, unable to accept payment from customers. By partnering with a payment processor who has access to options when you meet a road bump, you can rest well knowing you're in capable hands! 


Remember that your payment processor should be a trustworthy partner. They are the experts you will turn to for guidance regarding the financial aspects of your business, therefore,  you want to make sure they provide you with service options, such as: payment process regulatory requirements (PCI DSS), chargeback management, data security, fraud protection, and a merchant ID (MID). 


Once you commit to working with a payment processor, you'll want to make it work for the long-haul so as to avoid having to make unnecessary shifts. As your business grows and evolves, you'll want a processor who can change and shift with you. Ask your processor about their experience in working with businesses both big and small. 

The Best CBD Payment Processor: Inclusive Pay

When we started Neurogan, the CBD industry hadn't started to boom just yet and there wasn't a lot of information about best practices for getting started. We had to learn the importance of partnering with a payment processor who is familiar with the CBD industry the hard way. 

Fortunately, we recently partnered with Inclusive Pay, the best CBD payment processor we've found. Inclusive Pay isn't just familiar with working with CBD merchants, it was built for us! They're the single most CBD friendly payment processors we've found due to their commitment to finding creative payment solutions for high-risk CBD merchants. When you sign up with Inclusive Pay, be sure to mention that Neurogan sent you. 

The Basics of Inclusive Pay:

  • Created for CBD e-commerce and retail merchants
  • Accepts start-up businesses
  • 3-5 business day approval process after your approved paperwork is complete and submitted.
  • Total set-up time is 15 days.
  • Compatible with major shopping carts: WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Ecwid, etc.
  • Transaction fee: 4.25% - 6.95% FLAT
  • Domestic bank
  • International Accounts welcome 


We know that choosing a potential CBD payment processor for your business can be a difficult process. So, we're here to help. Contact our team any time to receive more hands-on information to get you started.

Our question to you:

What has been your experience with finding a payment processor for your CBD business?

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Glory Rae Finnegan

BA, MA in Psychology Glory is a cannabis content writer and digital branding educator with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Psychology. She’s currently working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Alliant University in California. Glory is passionate about human psychology, destigm...

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