The Glaring Double Standard Every Cannabis Entrepreneur Is Talking About
Working in the cannabis industry is like living in the Twilight Zone; over half the nation has legalized medical cannabis and the 2018 farm bill re-legalized the national cultivation of hemp. Yet social media platforms won’t let you advertise and banks won’t process your payments.
I own a new, successful beauty business called GLAUX CHEM® that has two essential and natural ingredients in all of our products: hemp seed oil and pomegranate seed oil.
It’s usually the “hemp oil” ingredient that turns a few heads. Especially the heads of every payment processor I have worked with since launching my business. And especially the heads of every social media platform in existence.
Why? Because, due to a lack of proper regulation and understanding, hemp is lumped into the same category as marijuana; a category riddled with double standards, as it is both a growing and successful industry (33 states have legalized some type of cannabis consumption so far) that made 10 freaking billion dollars in 2018 alone, yet is a great political divider in the United States, and citizens may still be incarcerated for possession and consumption.
Even though hemp can’t get you high.
Even though hemp seeds contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight.
Even though hemp oil is not the same thing as CBD oil.
Even though our founding father Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.
One of the reasons hemp products cannot be promoted on social media or businesses cannot process payments is due to a lack of federal regulation and a technical understanding about the plant. Let’s explore further, and you’ll see the reasons why hemp should be accepted, without a question.
All About Hemp
What is hemp?
Hemp is an industrial plant with the botanical name of Cannabis L Sativa. The fibers of the plant are used to produce a large number of consumer goods, and the seeds are used as a source of food and for the production of hemp seed oil.
Can hemp oil get you high?
Nooooo, hemp oil cannot get you high. The amount of THC found in hemp oil is negligible, since the oils found on the market are produced from seeds that have the federal mandate of less than 0.3% THC. The levels of THC reported in the literature for hemp oils tested using HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) are not detectable.
Anyone who understands the chemistry and technical side of hemp versus CBD knows that these oils are two completely separate chemical ingredients.
Why is hemp seed oil an important ingredient in your skincare products?
Hemp is essential to our products since our whole line is based on this plant oil.
Hemp seed oil is a chemically rich and skin nutritious oil; I like to think of the ingredients like a salad bar. A few chemical facts to note about hemp seed oil are:
Hemp seed oil contains a generous mixture of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids acid.
Hemp is particularly special because the oil contains the ideal one to three ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats.
Hemp seed oil also has other biologically anti-oxidant active ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Vitamin E is the only fat-soluble vitamin, and as a result of this property penetrates deep and protects your proteins, cells, and DNA against the harmful damage from free radicals.
Adding to the fats and vitamins, hemp seed oil also contains a plethora of natural pigments like chlorophyll and beta-carotene. These plant pigments are blockers of UVA and UVB rays and serve as a natural sun protectant.
Last but not least, hemp seed oil contains low levels of cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and CBD-A (cannabidiolic acid). CBD and its parent compound CBD-A have both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and also active your endocannabinoid system.
These cannabinoids are important for fighting inflammation induced by free radicals, help balance your natural oil production, and assist your body in wound healing.
How much has the hemp industry has grown over the last few years?
According to the data reported by the Hemp Biz Journal, the national US sales related to hemp products back in 2017 were 820 million, up 16 percent versus 2016 with 688 million in sales nationwide. The hemp industry is on track to hit billions in sales by 2020 and this number will grow with the passing of the farm bill and increased consumer demand for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives.
Is there a large business opportunity in hemp?
Heck yeah, I’d say a billion industry is quite the business opportunity. The official 2017 hemp-derived CBD products dominate the market share at 23 percent and the second-largest hemp goods market is the personal care sector with sales of $181 million at 22 percent of the market share. *The sales projections for 2018 were projected to hit 1 billion and the current projection for 2019 is 1.9 billion.
History of hemp? And what types of products can it be used in?
Hemp is quite the original gangster plant. In fact, the cultivation and use of hemp for textiles, food, and medicine dates back to China as early as 1500 BC.
In the history of the US, farmers were once required to grow hemp in the 1700s. Several of our presidents like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln used hemp in one form or another.
In the present day, hemp is used to make textiles, clothing, bags, ropes, plastics, houses, cars, and cosmetics, to name a handful. All hemp products are 100 percent biodegradable and break down without leaving toxic pieces behind, assuming the starting product was not mixed with any synthetic materials.
Agriculturally, hemp cultivation requires less water than cotton to grow, and the plant is a natural soil purifier, removing toxins like heavy metals from the soil. The stalks of the hemp plant can be converted into plastics, termed ‘bioplastics.' The benefit to hemp plastics are numerous; they biodegradable, non-toxic, and manufacturing of hemp plastics produces less toxic waste versus the typical synthetic polymers.
What are you seeking to do with your GLAUX CHEM® products and hemp in the beauty industry?
Greater than 90 percent of the beauty products on the market today are water-based products that are full of fake synthetic ingredients, which cause skin irritation and disrupt your hormone levels.
I am solving the issue of having too many nasty products on the market and aim to give consumers and myself healthy, organic, and beneficial solutions to their skincare needs by creating products that are good for them and the planet (does a happy dance).
Not to mention, manufacturing all these fake water-based formulas just leads to the production of toxic waste. Do we really need more of that?
My personal goal is to develop a full hemp beauty line that is water-free, meaning I do not add a single drop of water to my formulas. I can and will make that happen!
Let’s get to it: When did you first have an issue with payment processors?
We officially launched our first product on the market on July 5, 2017, and after almost two years of selling our hemp-based products on the market, Shopify shut down our payment gateway in June 2019.
Their claim was that we sell CBD and THC based products, but hemp oil is free of THC and only contains around 10 milligrams per one kilogram of CBD, which is naturally found in the hemp seed.
Now, the local drug store shelves are lined with CBD products. Last time I checked, these products were for sale and not just for free to take from the shelves.
So, who the hell is processing these payments?
We are way overdue for a class-action lawsuit against the government and banks that control the politicians.
And then came the search...
After the whole snafu with Shopify, we signed up for a merchant account with Authorize.net. They pre-approved our application for processing payments and then shut down our account after two transactions. When I asked why that happened, they said the reason was due to the pre-approval. It sounds quite like an ineffective process. Not to mention that they also held our payments, and I still have not seen the cash enter into our account after 30 days.
Of the other 10 different processors I explored that could integrate with our platform, we found one company called EMB that was willing to provide merchant services. This particular merchant provider wanted more than $100 a month just to process payments and took a little over six percent of the transaction.
Thanks, but no thanks.
I will not give in to their greed and ridiculous fees for selling a 100 percent natural product that is good for you and the planet.
Why are hemp products being targeted?
Two things in my personal opinion: greed and a lack of education and regulation.
Greed fueled by the pharmaceutical industry who are in the pockets of all those old ass politicians in office combined with a lack of regulation, education, and legitimate scientific research on cannabis available to the general public.
The typical uninformed or miseducated person does not know:
- Zero people have died from using cannabis; I’d bet a million dollars that the people who read this article knows at least one person who has passed due to an alcohol or drug related incident.
- The US government owns patent 6,630,507 titled, “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.”
- What benefits hemp and cannabis oil actually provide them.
- How their endocannabinoid system works in the body.
When I sit back and reflect on all the ways cannabis and hemp help people with debilitating medical conditions it blows mind to think about how many people bought into the notion that cannabis is ‘the devils lettuce,’ as they say.
What do you think was flagged on your website that made you unable to use these processors after running the same business for two years?
I have a hunch that the words CBD and THC triggered the algorithm and thus led to the shut down of our payment gateway. Heaven forbid we provide education about hemp and the ingredients that are naturally found in the cold-pressed seed oil.
What’s frustrating is that Shopify refused to provide phone support for this issue and did not even try to understand things from the technical side. Our hemp seed oil comes from, as the name implies, hemp seeds.
These seeds are certified to contain less than 0.3 percent THC, which is part of the federal mandate.
GLAUX CHEM®'s Issues with Social Media
How difficult is it for you to advertise your company on social platforms?
Oh my gawwwwd, the struggle is real. If we add the word hemp into any copy on our ads, they are not allowed to run—but the Russians are out there running ads as your read this blog. Just another example of the Twilight Zone in this industry.
We also run the risk of getting our page shut down if we post pictures of cannabis leaves, flowers, and other things related to cannabis. Cannabis flowers are pretty. Really, who does not want to see pictures of crystalline, green and purple flowers?
I’d bet a million dollars we could post pictures of legalized drugs like opiates all day long, and no one would get their panties in a twist.
What struggles have you run into?
Too many problems when it comes to trying to advertise hemp products on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If we use the word hemp, cannabis, or CBD, your ads get flagged for selling illegal products.
Last time I checked, Nutiva’s hemp foods are for sale in every health store and now the big chain drug stores like Walgreens and CVS sell CBD products.
These platforms change so fast, but hemp ads or promoting hemp products is not allowed so we are still just as limited as 2016.
What's the solution?
Education and political involvement.
Knowledge is power and ignorance is expensive.
Vote out all those old dudes in office and replace them with a younger, more culturally and gender diverse congress that actually cares about people and the future of the planet.
Allocate federal and state funds towards the education and cultivation of cannabis.
There are many ways to help us grow and fight back against the hemp haters.
You can support our business by:
Buying our hemp products and referring us to your friends and family.
Engaging and sharing our content with your friends on social media.
Recording testimonials about your experience with our products.
Posting pictures and videos of you using GLAUX CHEM®.
Reviewing our products on Google and Facebook.
Educating others about the benefits of hemp.
Around 80 percent of our content is education-driven because a lot of folks just don’t know what to think about hemp and marijuana due to the almost decade-long propaganda put out by the US government.
People actually bought into the idea that cannabis is an addictive drug that kills your brain cells. Studies actually show that cannabis stimulates the growth of new brain cells, fights dementia, and helps people kick their addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.