LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is on the map when it comes to growing Hemp, but still suffering when purchasing Hemp products with a credit card.
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles says Kentucky is expected to bring in over $100 million in Hemp sales across the nation in 2019, along with 75% of Hemp sold nationwide coming from the Bluegrass State. However, local vendors say while they are excited for the growth in dollars and numbers, they still can’t provide customers with credit card transactions with a simple swipe.
The passage of the farm bill in 2018 removed hemp from the list of controlled substances. However, several credit card companies nationwide have stopped working with CBD businesses.
It’s a bump in the road for owner Robert Matheny who says leaders need to help solve the problem.
“There’s a huge flaw in it,” said Matheny. “If we are trying to get the Hemp movement in Kentucky to create us a new economy but we are hindering all the small businesses from being able to grow their businesses, we’re not growing the economy – we are growing big business.”
It’s an issue Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is familiar with. During a stop at University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Farm along with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, McConnell told reporters they were speaking to banks about the ongoing problem.
McConnell says they are also working new regulations with the FDA and EPA about loopholes they see in the system hindering local vendors from making money.
During their stop at the farm on Tuesday McConnell along with Secretary Perdue spoke about the impact the plant is having on not just Kentucky but the United Sates in a whole – referencing the plant as another reason for people to know where Kentucky is.
A time frame on when the issues with credit card transactions will end was not said but the owners at Kentucky CBD Farmacy say they have been in talks with other merchants about taking over their credit card business, but it could be a couple of months, because of how many CBD businesses are in need of a vendor.