An online CBD retailer alleging that Visa erroneously withheld its payments and placed it on a transaction blacklist can now pursue unjust blacklisting and defamation claims against the credit card giant and its subsidiaries, a Missouri federal court ruled.
In a court session this week, US District Court Judge John Ross found that retailer MNG 2005 Inc. had made a strong enough case to meet Visa’s dismissal bid and pursue defamation claims against Visa. Visa allegedly claimed that the CBD retailer was ” engaged in illegal activities” when it stopped processing its payments.
MNG 2005 Inc, a Missouri CBD retailer, has cheered the judge’s decision to keep its legal fight against credit card giant Visa as it wages a battle to access payment processing services.
MNG’s lawsuit also included a claim for some $66,000, which Paymentech LLC, a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase Bank NA withheld “based on an improper determination” that the Missouri CBD retailer was engaged in illegal activities.
The judge, however, did not uphold most of MNG’s claims, including antitrust violations.
In its claim, the Cannabis retailer argued that the mentioned credit card companies allegedly conspired to run it out of business while continuing to process credit card payments related to CBD by larger customers, including Amazon, Costco, and Sephora.
Judge Ross’ ruling maintained that MNG had not done enough to prove that Visa was purposefully and systematically cutting out small vendors to benefit its larger clientele.
Despite the ruling, Nathan Cohen, the attorney representing MNG, told the legal news service Law360 that they feel the case just got wider and not smaller.
He added that he is inspired to reach out to other CBD companies frustrated by credit card processing denials.
MNG operates retail chain Mr. Nice Guy, Leaf and Co., and CBD Kratom, all located in the St. Louis area, Missouri.