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What Merchants Should Know About Online Kratom Sales

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Updated 2020

With the demand for delivery going up, kratom retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to process payments online. In this blog, we hope to answer some of the most common questions related to kratom and online sales. We also caught up with Natalie DeVere, COO at Miracle Kratom, for a firsthand account of what a kratom merchant goes through while building an eCommerce website.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is derived from the leaves of the kratom tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. Traditional medicinal practitioners will grind these leaves into a powder to be brewed in tea, or else put it into a pill to be taken. It is also used as an extract, chewed, or smoked. In some traditional medicine circles, it is considered a mild substitute for opium for pain relief.

Commercially it is often advertised as a supplement that can boost energy, enhance mood, relieve pain, and assist with opioid addiction treatment. It has even been marketed as a way of reducing panic attacks. In small doses, it appears to act as a stimulant. Users typically report increased energy, sociability, and alertness. However, in large doses it acts as a sedative, producing sedation, pain relief, and relaxing effects.

Is it legal to sell Kratom online?

There is a lot of uncertainty in the kratom market. It can even be difficult to get a clear answer on the legality of its sale and distribution or what the product is used for. But there is no question that merchants who deal in kratom are considered “high-risk” by banks and credit card processors. 

Natalie DeVere at Miracle Kratom says, “Unexpected difficulties with selling kratom online really come down to the fact that it is pretty much impossible to get a credit card processor. We have been rejected from every actual bank for a credit card processor.”

Why are domestic banks not accepting Kratom sales when it is legal in many states?

In the United States, it is within the individual state’s rights to create and uphold their own laws. While the federal government has not outlawed kratom, numerous states have done so or have unique requirements in regards to the drug. With many differing restrictions throughout the country, domestic banks often don’t want to navigate within legal gray areas as online purchasing and eCommerce regularly occurs across state lines. 

What’s the Kratom controversy?

For all that kratom is advertised to do, there is no clinical research into the benefits of the substance. Likewise, there is also little research into the extent of or dangers of its side effects. In addition, like many other traditional medicines, it is not FDA regulated or approved. Additionally, while it is often marketed as an opium addiction treatment, or as an alternative to opioids, kratom itself is an addictive substance. While proponents of the drug champion its benefits, the lack of research and grey-areas surrounding kratom are enough for banks to label it as a high-risk market. This translates into a two main problems for online merchants despite kratom itself being legal: 

  1. Kratom is on the prohibited list from Visa and Mastercard
  2. Banks view kratom as a high-risk industry and won’t issue accounts 

Many merchants turn to aggregate accounts, where multiple high-risk companies use the same account managed by a third party in order for the bank to hedge risk. Unfortunately, one bad merchant can ruin the account for the bunch. This method requires merchants to trust each other blindly until the bank likely shuts down the whole account.  At Limitless Payment Solutions, we take a unique approach in providing solutions to these problems. We assist businesses grow online sales through access to kratom merchant accounts.

So is it illegal?

Under federal law in the United States, it is not illegal to sell kratom. In 2019, the FDA warned consumers not to take kratom supplements. It is illegal for businesses to market kratom for human consumption or to market its proposed benefits as a health supplement. However, the federal government stopped short of listing kratom as a controlled substance. Many U.S. states appear to be taking matters into their own hands and have passed laws restricting the sale and use of kratom. 

Is the high-risk designation fair?

DeVere weighs in on her experience at Miracle Kratom, “I honestly don’t believe it is fair to be labeled as a high-risk industry to the extremes financial institutions do. I understand that there are limited regulations in this industry, so for that I could agree with the notion of maybe a higher percentage for credit card processing.” Finding a reputable solution in her industry was tremendously difficult.

Places where Kratom is already illegal:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia

Places where Kratom is Age-Restricted:

  • Illinois (Over 18)
  • Tennessee (Over 21) 

Additionally, there are laws pending in several other states, making the future of kratom legality for the U.S. market slightly uncertain and a risk to domestic banks.

What should Kratom retailers do? 

If you are in the business of selling or distributing Kratom, you will need to find a company that will manage high risk merchant account solutions. Limitless Payment Solutions offers high-risk merchant accounts for most nutraceutical businesses and support merchant accounts for online kratom sales depending on the most current regulations. However, as experts in high-risk merchant accounts, Limitless Payment Solutions also helps businesses grow online sales through access to kratom credit card processing. Get in contact with us today to ensure you receive the best solution tailored to your business needs and processor regulations.

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