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Square Confirms Invite-Only Beta Program For CBD Industry

Andrew Ward

Payment processing service Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) confirmed Wednesday that it is in the midst of a pilot program that allows select hemp-derived CBD products on its platform.

“Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products," a Square spokesperson told Benzinga. 

The same statement was provided to other outlets, including to Marijuana Moment's Tom Angell, who first broke the news on Forbes.

No other details have been released at this time.

Why It Matters

If the beta program eventually grows, it could serve as an access point for CBD companies seeking a financial service to use in the United States.

Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, many in the CBD industry report difficulties finding a banking service that's willing to work with them. This includes Square, which had previously shown a reluctance to work with the cannabis industry.

What’s Next

Angell said he considers Wednesday's news a milestone in the cannabis industry's acceptance by mainstream companies.

"[It] seems likely to spur similar moves by other big players that have so far been skittish to wade into the sector," he said. 

U.S. lawmakers continue to debate the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and whether it will come up for a vote. If passed, it would provide the banking industry protection from federal regulations when working with legal cannabis businesses.

Related links:

The Week In Cannabis News: SAFE Banking Act In The Senate, Greenlane's IPO, B-Real, Canopy Growth And More

Why Square Is Guggenheim's Top Fintech Pick

Photo courtesy of Square.

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