I Fought the Law and the Law Won

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

Big changes for Commonwealth Vapes as the new year dawns. It seems like ages since we launched in September (or so) of 2014 and within 6 months we were looking for a new host and design. By mid-2015 things were looking pretty good on the site and search engines started to take notice.

Then things went awry. PayPal pulled our merchant account citing nicotine and CBD as banned products for their services. No problem. We had been receiving regular offers from credit card processors claiming to support these products at competitive rates, but as we began the arduous process of online applications and a mountain of legal document uploads each came back with a different demand or restriction. We could only sell in the US. We could only sell in Canada. Drop this, restrict that and on it went.

One by one, we started paring down our offerings and descriptive language. “Dry Herb” was a phrase that bothered some American processors. Next came CBD and Cannabidiol, an absolute no-no in Canada. After those amazing and hugely beneficial products and insights were removed we began our rounds again and discovered that in the ensuing weeks an even greater tightening of controls on nicotine were being introduced here in Canada.

So I took a couple weeks off from writing this while we re-organized the site yet again, placing more focus on new and exciting hardware and removing options for nicotine strength on our e-juices. We’re not entirely unhappy with the outcome for a couple of reasons.

  1. the internet knows no borders and offering products that had restrictions for each province, state or territory was confusing to the customer and caused irritation for off-shore buyers
  2. e-Juice is a very personal thing and seeing, touching, tasting and smelling are important. Brick and Mortar shops do a great service in this department

Strangely, we noticed that as we added higher-end brands like Cuttwood and Propaganda the requested strength went to the lowest levels or zero. It seems that the real connoiseurs don’t care that much for nicotine!

Most people have access to the unflavored nicotine and could conceivably order the nic free offerings here and spike it to their own requirements.

The bottom line is for now and until further notice Commonwealth Vapes is not selling any products with nicotine online…and we’re okay with that. Time will tell. It certainly will be interesting to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the vaping world feels about it.