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A Short Guide to Selling CBD Products on Shopify

POSTED. September 20, 2019

This week, Shopify announced that the company is making its suite of e-commerce tools available to retailers in the hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) space. 


Here’s everything you need to know about the announcement, whether you’re an established CBD brand or a budding entrepreneur looking to launch your first CBD store on Shopify:


Shopify is now CBD-friendly (as long as its hemp-derived and only in certain states)

Until the announcement, all CBD brands that were using Shopify were operating in a bit of a grey area. Shopify did not officially support CBD retailers, but they didn’t shut them down either.


There were notable CBD brands, such as Cannuka and Lord Jones, that used the Shopify platform to build their online stores. However, these companies did not have access to Shopify’s marketing, shipping, or payment processing services. 


If a company did make a mistake, such as offering CBD that was not hemp-derived, or offering delivery to a state where a given product was not legal, the platform was quick to shut it down.

 


Now, Shopify officially supports hemp-derived CBD stores, offering its store builder, marketing tools, and shipping & fulfillment services to qualified retailers (but still not Shopify Payments, more on that later).


What is hemp-derived CBD?

There are two main forms of CBD available in the United States: hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD. The main difference is the THC content (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana), which is markedly lower in products derived from hemp.


In order for a product to be considered “hemp” and be legal as laid out in the Farm Bill of 2018, it must contain less than 0.3 percent THC (in other words it won’t get you high), otherwise the federal government categorizes it as marijuana, which remains an illegal substance.

 

Hemp vs. marijuana


To ensure compliance with federal regulations, Shopify requires all CBD companies to fill out the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. Shopify also only currently supports retailers located in a handful of states where state and local laws permit the sale of hemp-derived CBD.


Where can I sell hemp-derived CBD on Shopify?

Shopify's Help Center lists the states where CBD merchants are officially supported.


Shipping for CBD on Shopify

One of the most impactful aspects of Shopify’s announcement is the fact that the platform is making its shipping and fulfillment services available to CBD retailers.


To ensure that your shipping is only available to customers in jurisdictions where hemp-derived CBD is legal, make sure to configure your Shipping Zones to only include those areas.


Payment processing for CBD on Shopify

While Shopify will not allow CBD companies to use Shopify Payments, they will have access to different merchant processing services that Shopify has partnered with, namely Authorize.net, Digipay, and eMerchant Brokers.


You can also use any other third-party payment processing service that integrates with Shopify and allows transactions that involve hemp-derived CBD products.


Let’s talk CBD

We know this is a lot of information, so if you’re a CBD brand that’s looking to grow your online presence through a beautifully-design Shopify store, let’s talk.