At least 34 cannabis farms have been destroyed by the wildfires in Northern California leaving many small businesses and those who invested their life savings devastated. In an attempt to help these small businesses get back on their feet before the coming recreational legalization the California Growers Association setup a fundraiser online, until the fundraiser was terminated by the hosting company YouCaring. The reason for the crowdfunding shut down is that the payment providers are not able to process payments related to cannabis due to the federal ban on the plant and the banking system associated with it. The only way banks are able to process funds for cannabis is to thoroughly confirm the state-legality of the business's operation, and with the donations coming from and going to so many entities it's just not possible to confirm such details.
YouCaring said fundraising for marijuana-related purposes isn't allowed by its payment providers, WePay and PayPal.
"Our payment providers are unable to process payments connected to the production or sale of cannabis (including CBD oil), even in situations where such payments would be permitted under State Law," said YouCaring's Camelia Gendreau in a statement.
"It's very tough. I know some marijuana companies have tried to raise money for their own businesses through crowdfunding and Kickstarting with limited success," said Ken Berke, co-founder of PayQwick, a financial services company that specializes in banking and compliance for marijuana companies. "Unfortunately, we don't see a lot of reform coming from the federal government for a long time.