How To Sell CBD Oil Online

Looking to start an online CBD store? Our website builder can help you start your online CBD business and start selling CBD products online Navigate the legalities of selling CBD oil online in this complete guide to marketing CBD products and shipping ecommerce store orders. The best eCommerce platforms to sell CBD online include: Shift4Shop, BigCommerce, Square,Shopify, WooCommerce, SMB Global, and Wix.

How To Sell CBD Oil Online

Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has grown from a niche alternative treatment to a multimillion-dollar market. And as more people discover the benefits of CBD, the medical community and legislators alike are taking notice. CBD is used on a daily basis by millions of people, and because of the credibility given to it by doctors, researchers, and lawmakers who support it, more people are trying CBD for the first time every day.

Whether you use CBD yourself or you’re just interested in the industry, now is a fantastic time to enter the market and open your own online CBD store. Shift4Shop has everything you need to handle this unique industry and tap into the huge opportunities offered by the CBD market. You’ll have access to the most powerful eCommerce tools available for starting your store, reaching your customers, and getting the brand recognition that leads to a successful business.

While there is momentum growing in terms of FDA approval and lessening of restrictions on selling CBD products, it can still be a very difficult vertical for businesses to navigate. This is largely due to the lack of federal legislation on the topic in the United States. In particular, eCommerce businesses wanting to sell CBD-related products must adhere to the specific and widely varying laws in each of the 50 states. This guide will help you understand and be better equipped to thrive in this fast-growing industry.

Understanding CBD and CBD Products

There is a lot of confusion around CBD products due to its relationship with marijuana, so let’s go over the facts. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in all cannabis plants. What makes CBD oils different is that they do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. CBD itself is completely non-psychoactive, meaning it does not affect the brain like THC does.

People take CBD for a variety of reasons including severe or painful conditions and anxiety relief. Everyone who uses CBD also has their own preferred method of taking it, which can be anything from vaping it to swallowing a pill. As a CBD seller, it’s important for you to understand the types of CBD products available and how they are used, as well as which types of customers the different products appeal to.

CBD Tinctures

A tincture is a concentrated extract made by soaking herbs in very strong alcohol for long periods of time, or in the case of CBD tinctures, by combining natural hemp oil with alcohol or another solvent. Tinctures are administered by placing a few drops of the liquid under the tongue. Only a small amount is needed for a dose because they are so highly concentrated. This method of administering CBD appeals to people who want the fastest way to take CBD and feel its effects quickly.

CBD Isolates

An isolate is a pure substance that has been extracted from its source and refined into a powder. CBD isolate has been processed to remove all the other natural plant substances such as chlorophyll and wax and leave only pure CBD behind. Isolates are colorless and flavorless and can be used in a similar way to tinctures, or can be added as an ingredient to infuse CBD into a variety of foods and beverages. Isolates are popular with customers who like to mix their own CBD products at home.

CBD Topical Formulations

A CBD topical formulation is a cream, salve, lotion, gel, or other preparation made to be rubbed into the skin. These products can be applied directly to inflamed or painful areas similar to other pain relief ointments. They also provide an alternative for customers who don’t like to take CBD orally. These treatments can also include other ingredients like menthol to provide a cooling sensation. CBD can also be used in massage oils.

CBD Vaporizers and Vape Concentrates

Inhalation is a popular method for CBD delivery because, much like with tinctures, the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and so provides immediate effects. CBD concentrates can be vaped similarly to nicotine e-liquids, so vape supply stores often expand into CBD or vice versa (learn more about selling vape online). Traditional smoking methods like water pipes are also popular, but some CBD retailers find these products troublesome due to drug paraphernalia laws (regardless of their use with legal CBD) and the difficulty of shipping complicated glass items.

Summary of CBD Products and Accessories You Can Sell:

  • CBD tinctures
  • CBD topical formulations
  • CBD isolates
  • CBD vaporizers and concentrates

This list is a summary of hundreds of individual products which can all be sold quite successfully through an online CBD store. Customers will also need to restock their CBD products, including their preferred concentrates and delivery methods which could include numerous types of vaping accessories. If you build your CBD eCommerce website with advanced software like Shift4Shop, you can make the reordering process much easier for your customers by implementing a subscription service for needed products. You can also offer product bundles, like edible variety packs, CBD vape starter sets, and more.

Choosing a CBD Supplier

Choosing a CBD supplier is a very important decision that will affect the quality of your products, the satisfaction of your customers, and the reputation of your brand. Because of the well-known benefits of CBD, “fake” CBD oils are found in stores everywhere. These oils are considered not to be true CBD because they’re derived from hemp seeds — which contain very little CBD — rather than from the stalks and leaves of the plant where the most CBD is found. It’s crucial for your business that you choose a manufacturer that makes genuine CBD that will have the effects your customers want. This way, you can immediately differentiate your business from the brands that provide no benefit and only seek to cash in on a trend.

When evaluating a CBD supplier, find out as much as you can about their manufacturing process. Remember that if you want to sell CBD oil products, those products must be derived from industrial hemp with a THC content of less than 0.3%, processed from the plant itself and not the seeds. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when

Medical Claims

CBD retailers are not allowed to make medical claims on their websites, and neither are suppliers. Even though research shows potential benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet evaluated these statements. CBD suppliers, including both wholesalers and consumer-level retailers, are required to display the FDA’s disclaimer on their website. If you’re looking at a supplier who makes medical claims about their CBD products, be aware that these statements have no FDA backing. Don’t choose a supplier based on medical claims, and if the supplier has particularly bold claims on their website (e.g., “cures cancer”), you likely want to avoid that supplier entirely, as breaking this rule means the supplier may be breaking others as well.

Pricing

As a business owner, you should always look for ways to lower your costs, as long as you don’t compromise on the quality of your merchandise. CBD suppliers’ pricing can vary greatly and sometimes this is reflected in the quality of the product. For example, higher-priced CBD products are often more pure and potent — but this isn’t always the case. Make sure you learn as much as possible about the supplier so you can learn whether the quality of their products justifies the pricing. Likewise, stay away from suppliers who sell at abnormally cheap prices. These rock-bottom prices are almost always a sign of cutting corners and producing an inferior product.

Extra Services

Some CBD suppliers offer additional services like dropshipping and private labeling. While the quality of the product should come first, it’s also very helpful to know if a supplier can provide these services. If you’re planning on dropshipping your CBD products, this option is crucial to your business model. In addition, private labeling allows you to sell fully branded products with your own business name and logo, which helps you become established in the industry and start earning the trust of your customers.

Understanding the Legality of CBD

Whether you plan to stock inventory or sell by dropshipping, the quality of your supply chain makes all the difference. It’s also vital to choose a supplier that’s right for your business and can get your products to you in a timely fashion. Since the CBD industry is growing, it’s becoming easier to find good suppliers that will work well with you.

Federal Regulations

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp on the federal level by removing hemp and its derivatives from the federal list of controlled substances. This legalized CBD so long as it derives from “hemp,” which is defined as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, but only if it contains no more than a 0.3% concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive component of cannabis.

Any plant that contains a higher than 0.3% concentration of delta-9-THC is classified as marijuana and remains a federally controlled substance and illegal on a federal level. And because it is still illegal, any CBD derived from such marijuana is also rendered illegal. The FDA has determined that CBD constitutes a drug or drug ingredient because a form of CBD is the active ingredient in an FDA-approved prescription drug (the drug EPIDIOLEX, for the treatment of certain seizures). Because of this, the FDA has taken the position that it is not lawful to add CBD to food, dietary supplements, or pet foods, even if the CBD comes from legal hemp. The same is true for other forms of delta-9-THC, since there are two drugs approved for therapeutic uses that contain a synthetic version of this substance.

Accordingly, products containing cannabinoids cannot currently be legally sold as dietary supplements nor can they be added to FDA-approved ingredients and sold legally. The FDA regularly issues warning letters to CBD sellers advising that the FDA considers this the sale of unapproved new drugs in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. In addition, the FDA considers any claims that CBD can be used to treat medical conditions or for other therapeutic uses as the sale of misbranded or mislabeled drugs also in violation of the FD&C Act. Misleading labels and unsubstantiated claims on products may also be deemed deceptive trade practices in violation of consumer protection laws.

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State Regulations

On a state level, there is a vast range of laws, regulations, and treatments of both hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD. Caution is warranted because state laws are not always equivalent and do not necessarily allow the same conduct. State laws concerning hemp-based CBD may permit or prohibit one or more of growing, selling, and/or using. States may also treat sales of CBD products differently, whether they are for medical or recreational purposes and whether or not they can be incorporated into foods, dietary supplements, and/or topical lotions.

Many states follow federal guidelines on these issues but many do not. When selling CBD products, it is important to show that the specific CBD products you are selling are lawful within the state in which it operates. Keep in mind that several states also require retail licenses and/or registrations for merchants to sell already-processed CBD products, including Louisiana and New York.

Marketing Guidelines

The FDA has advised that whether a CBD or other hemp-related product may be marketed and sold depends, among other things, on the intended use of the product and how it is labeled and marketed. In particular, ingredients that are derived from parts of the cannabis plant that do not contain THC or CBD might be able to be marketed as dietary supplements and may not require the same type of lab certification. In any case, all products marketed as dietary supplements must comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing dietary supplement products.

In no instance may CBD products be marketed using unsubstantiated claims that the product can prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure any diseases, and should NOT contain any misleading claims or statements lacking substantial scientific support.

Any marketing of CBD across state lines (which includes most eCommerce merchants) will implicate federal regulations in addition to the laws and regulations governing each state involved in the transaction. CBD sold within a state will be governed primarily by that state’s laws, although some federal regulation may still be a factor.

Selling CBD Through
Shift4Shop

Some eCommerce providers won’t allow you to sell CBD, but with Shift4Shop this is not a problem! In fact, Shift4Shop has more built-in features to help a CBD business than any other shopping cart software.

Here are some of the reasons Shift4Shop is the best eCommerce platform for an online CBD store:

Support for High-Risk Payment Providers

While CBD is legal to sell, it’s considered a high-risk industry by payment processors and many providers won’t work for sales of these products. Shift4Shop, however, provides a seamless payment experience for Shift4Shop customers.

Easy Tax Setup

CBD is subject to taxes that vary from state to state, including sales tax and sometimes a state-specific cannabis-related tax. Shift4Shop makes it simple to automatically charge the correct tax rates — no matter where your customers are located.

Full Suite of Powerful SEO Tools

Many of the most familiar online advertising methods aren’t available for CBD sellers — for example, Google and Facebook will not run CBD ads. Therefore, a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is crucial. Shift4Shop has the best built-in SEO features in the industry, all geared toward helping your website get listed fast and start gaining rank immediately.

Built-In Blog and Content Pages

Since SEO is so important for CBD sellers, you need a way to fill your website with high-quality content that will rank well in searches. With Shift4Shop, you can instantly add a blog to your site for posting the latest CBD news, studies, homemade edible recipes, product updates, and anything else you see fit. You can also create unlimited extra pages to provide vital information like your store policies, product purity guarantees, general CBD educational information and FAQs, and much more.

General Compliance

Here is a quick checklist for you to help make sure you are approved to sell through Shift4Shop:

Post all ingredients, product descriptions, and labels in your shop in order for Underwriting to review and ensure that the products are FDA compliant.

Activate Shift4Shop age verification tool

Complete the CBD Compliance Statement Form and agree to the terms posted on shift4shop.com.

Provide a copy of your hemp handler license or special hemp processor license based on the state’s requirements for the sale of hemp-derived CBD products and/or state, tribal, or federal licensing information during the submission of your store (listed under the compliance statement).

Certify your products with a third-party laboratory for all of the listed products for sale in your store and post the results from the laboratory for consumer review and underwriting purposes.

Several states require retail licenses and/or registrations for merchants to sell already-processed CBD products, including New York and Louisiana.

CBD Labeling

Merchants must label CBD products in conformance with applicable regulations and in a manner that mitigates risk of regulatory agency enforcement actions. As each state may have its own laws that govern labeling (and sometimes these laws can conflict with one another), there is no one-size-fits-all approach. If a particular state is a relevant jurisdiction, its laws should be more thoroughly examined. Below is a summary of general guidelines that pertain to federal labeling requirements. Generally, labels should include:

How to Sell CBD Online: Information and Tips on Selling CBD From Home

The cannabis industry continues to legalize and explode before our eyes. And it didn’t take long for its more legal archetype, Cannabidiols (otherwise known as CBD), to become a hot commodity.

You can find CBD products in nearly every large retailer these days, including Walgreens, CVS, Ulta, and even teen brands like American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch. But just as fast, it’s become a viable ecommerce solution for those who want to sell and buy it online.

If you follow ecommerce product trends, you know that CBD is everywhere — for humans, for pets, in your drinks, in your chapstick. It seems as though there is CBD-infused everything.

Of course, it’s not as simple as throwing up a website and watching the buyers flood in. If you decide to sell CBD at all — let alone online — you’ll face a complicated industry with complex legal and marketing challenges.

Before you start selling CBD products online, you should know exactly what to expect and how to prepare. Read on to get the full rundown on how to navigate building a CBD income stream in today’s climate.

Note: This article is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

What is CBD?

You may hear CBD being described as “cannabis oil but without THC,” and that’s close but not entirely accurate. CBD, or Cannabidiol if you’re using the scientific term, is an active component of Cannabis — a small, effective part of the larger whole.

Cannabis is made up of different cannabinoids. Cannabidiol is one of them. According to users, this is the ingredient that helps alleviate an array of symptoms, including pain, anxiety, and even epileptic seizures.

What helped CBD boom into its own segment of the larger cannabis market though is the fact that it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the ingredient in cannabis that causes the widely-known psychological effects: the euphoria, short-term memory loss, increase in appetite, paranoia, and more.

THC is the ingredient that many governments around the world have fought to keep illegal, whereas CBD is the ingredient that simply acts as a natural medicine without any psychological effects.

Because of this, CBD is ahead of the game in the cannabis industry in the sense that it’s more widely accepted and legalized — in most cases.

The CBD market is booming

The number one rule of going into business is “Go where the market is.” One clear way to tell that is by gauging where consumers are already spending their money.

You might look at the explosive evolution that the CBD industry has undergone in the past couple of years and find yourself intimidated by market saturation and competition. Fret not — there are still plenty of pieces of the pie for everyone who wants to try and partake.

Just how big is the opportunity, exactly?

The CBD market is worth billions

The CBD industry is projected to be worth $20 billion by 2024. To put this into perspective, ice cream was only worth $2.27 billion in 2018. CBD is well on its way to being a household item for frequent buyers who will come back again and again as long as you can fulfill the product.

But it’s not that simple. What about the legalities of selling CBD products?

New legal terms for CBD oil

CBD has definitely undergone its share of legalization battles and still has some opposition, but there has been major progress along the way. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production across the US, which is great for sellers because CBD is produced from industrial hemp.

The bill essentially states that as long as your CBD product has less than 0.3% THC in it, you’re free to sell it, with caution.

Legality of selling CBD

For obvious reasons, the legalization of CBD has been widely disputed across the board. As long as it’s a controversial topic, you’ll want to prescribe to your favorite news channels and set up alerts for updates to CBD laws. With that being said, a plethora of laws have been put in place that you need to be aware of, both federally and at the state-level.

Federally

In the United States, there aren’t any concerns at the moment other than making sure your products contain less than 0.3% THC. CBD is otherwise legal nationally. It is recommended that you stay aware of the state of legalization as laws can always be overturned.

It’s worth noting that the FDA has stepped in on occasion to call out unapproved products that market false health claims.

Statewide

Statewide laws will of course vary by state. Some states allow marijuana-produced CBD, while others only allow industrial hemp-produced CBD. Your best bet is to simply sell the industrial hemp-sourced CBD, as it won’t have high THC levels and is accepted across the nation. Otherwise, you’ll want to get in touch with local representatives or research laws in your state to see what you’re allowed to sell.

From that information, build a list of products that you know are legal for you to sell and stick with your regular inventory to avoid any legal mishaps.

How to start selling CBD oil online

Once you’ve dialed in your legal allowances, it’s time to start setting up shop. There is a simple game plan you can follow to get set up and start selling online. From there, you can start refining your product, marketing, and ecommerce fulfillment strategies to grow your business.

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1. Obtain licenses

In order to sell CBD, you’ll need to get a couple of licenses. One is a business license. Usually, small businesses go for an LLC. Research your preference at your local government website. Registration usually costs about $100 in most cases.

You’ll also want to get a resale license if you plan to purchase your product from wholesalers. Much like business licenses, resale licenses and permits are handled at the state-level, which can be handled differently state-to-state. Discover what your state requirements are to determine if you need a resale license and how to acquire one.

2. Find a certified supplier

You’ll want to find a reputable supplier that will sell you high-quality products (such as tinctures, oils, hemp products, and more) and is also certified to sell by the state or federally. They’ll also need to get regular tests performed by third-parties to make sure the quality is assured and you’re selling quality products. Many CBD companies have their own hemp farms.

3. Build your website

Now that you have the paperwork and selection process out of the way, it’s time to build your website. First, you need a domain name (or a “www.yoursitename.com” web address).

One of the most popular platforms to buy domains from is GoDaddy.com. But you can just as easily get your domain name from most web building platforms. There’s no shortage of platforms out there that make it incredibly easy for you to build an ecommerce site.

For example, BigCommerce offers full-featured solutions for merchants of all sizes, with no additional fees for selecting your own payment gateway.

Be careful to cover the terms of service and community policy to make sure you’re advertising and selling your products within the boundaries set by the platform.

You’ll need to find reliable credit card payment processing, which can be tricky for CBD products as the payment gateway landscape has been changing a lot in this industry.

CBD is not currently approved by all payment processors (e.g., PayPal), so you’ll need to make sure you’re working with a company that can do this. Note: Credit card fees with CBD gateways may vary by merchant based on a risk assessment done by the processor.

4. Market your CBD products

Now that your website is live, it’s time to bring in the buyers. You might think the “build it and they will come” mantra rings true here. Sorry to say, that’s not the case.

In a land where it’s difficult to market CBD using a lot of popular methods (as Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, and other common ecommerce marketing channels ban these products from their advertising platforms), there are still two viable options that have the potential to bring in a lot of profit if you play your hand right.

The first is SEO, or the art and science of getting Google to rank your site above others in search results to show potential buyers your website first. In order to succeed with SEO, you’ll want to get an SEO professional to audit your site. They can make sure that Google views things like your site speed, meta data, image optimization and other components favorably. These things help Google trust that your website is worthy to show visitors.

You’ll also want to start a blog, master the skill of keyword research, and put out fresh content that captures the intent of what people are searching for. Make sure you’re targeting terms that bring in potential buyers and not just visitors looking for information on the topic.

Once you start getting organic website visitors through your SEO efforts, you’ll want to start an email list and use your website to grow it. In exchange for an email address, you can offer discounts or even free informational PDFs and trainings on CBD.

When visitors provide their email address for your freebies, they’re giving you permission to nurture the relationship and inform them of more promotions moving forward (e.g., having a sitewide sell for 4/20 or a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal).

You can also look elsewhere and try partnering with marketplaces like CBD Oils, Ganjapreneur, and Pot.com, or CBD-specific ad platforms like Traffic Roots.

5. Fulfill and ship customer orders

You’ll need a system for warehousing your CBD products and managing inventory over time. When you’re first getting started, this may be done in your home. After experiencing growth, you’ll want to expand into a fulfillment center by either signing a warehouse lease or outsourcing fulfillment.

Just make sure your fulfillment technology syncs up well with your ecommerce platform, payment processor, and other software. For example, ShipBob is tech-enabled fulfillment company with warehouses across the US to help you spend less time worrying about packing and shipping orders and more time on growing your brand.

“Our fulfillment is on autopilot. ShipBob saves us so much effort, and the opportunity cost savings has been substantial. ShipBob’s platform is easy to use and navigate, the interface is intuitive, and the analytics are very clearly laid out. Today, our health and wellness brand sells three CBD products in the United States.”

Yannick Crespo, Co-Founder & President of Pot d’Huile

Take CBD company Nature’s Ultra. Last year, they started to experience a surge in orders. They were managing CBD shipping and logistics themselves but didn’t understand just how massive and difficult retail fulfillment was. They were getting so deep into the logistics and supply chain side that they didn’t have time to focus on their core products.

They knew they’d be doubling and then quickly tripling their order volume, so they wanted to get help on the front-end to ensure a long-term relationship with a lot of room for scalability. They searched for companies that could give them something similar to Amazon’s delivery capabilities for their website orders, so they partnered with ShipBob.

“Now that we’re working with ShipBob, we can easily ship to all 50 US states with ease. We use ShipBob’s fulfillment centers in Dallas, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They help us to maximize our shipping and ultimately our growth potential.”

Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra

Challenges of selling CBD online

Once you get your CBD store up and running, you will likely face a new set of challenges as you grow. Here are a few considerations to help you break through the crowded space and set your business up for success.

Standing out in the market

In a saturated market, you must consider your competitors. Think through the following:

  • Which keywords are your competitors ranking for and how can you write better content to outrank them?
  • What kinds of products are they providing and how can you stand apart?
  • What can you do differently from your competition that your customers will love?

Think through the entire customer experience to uncover where you can differentiate, whether that’s selling unique products, providing custom packaging or a branded insert, or even offering free 2-day shipping.

Managing regulations

As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to go through the proper state channels to figure out what your regulations are so you can abide by them. Your best bet is to take inventory of any regulations, rules, and restrictions, and create company policies around them to make sure you’re following them. With the industry continuing to evolve, be sure to stay updated on these regulations.

As selling CBD becomes more widely accepted, you may eventually be able to sell internationally, ship to other countries, and build out an international shipping strategy. In the mean time, don’t ship products to destinations where they’re not allowed.

Fulfilling orders

Without the proper support and systems in place it can become really difficult to fulfill your orders especially as demand picks up. When you can no longer go at it by yourself, you’ll need to find a solution that will ensure you’re able to deliver the products your customers buy in a timely fashion.

“We place considerable expectations and pressure on shipping so we can get close to what Amazon does. With ShipBob, 100% of our orders are going out via 2-day shipping. We see that people are far more likely to order and keep ordering from us when 2-Day Express Shipping Program is an option.”

Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra

Fulfillment options

Ecommerce shipping can be very challenging and order fulfillment boils down to three common options. What works for one business may be cost-prohibitive or inefficient for another.

In-house fulfillment

There are plenty of CBD brands that fulfill orders by themselves. They keep inventory at home and run to the post office, or use local warehouse space to pack and ship each order by investing in the infrastructure and running operations. This option is often best when getting started or if order volume isn’t too much to handle. As your store grows, you need to scale seamlessly and find a more streamlined solution.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is when a manufacturer handles both product procurement and shipping orders. All you do is market the product without touching inventory. This can work well for some products, but is often difficult for CBD oil because you have less control over quality, product selection, and speed of shipment.

3PL (third-party logistics) solutions

3PLs are a happy medium as you don’t have to purchase land or hire a team to pack boxes, but you still have control over selecting a manufacturer. The 3PL is the middleman that stores your inventory close to your end consumers, while helping you quickly and seamlessly get the products shipped out.

“We were shipping a dozen orders per day, and now we ship hundreds per day. ShipBob has allowed us to scale up and become successful — we have gone from $70,000 in sales in 2018 to over $7 million in sales in 2019. When it comes to delivery, accuracy and timing are the most important to us, and ShipBob helps us execute on that.”

Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra

Conclusion

Starting an online CBD business might have some legal and marketing challenges involved, but with the growth of the industry and continued legalization, now is the time to get in. Since it’s still a young industry, you can still get ahead of the curve.

Already running a CBD store or anticipating a huge launch? Get in touch to learn how ShipBob can handle your CBD fulfillment so you can focus on your brand — not packing boxes . Request fulfillment pricing today.

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Kristina Lopienski

Kristina is the Director of Marketing Communications at ShipBob, where she writes various articles, case studies, and other resources to help ecommerce brands grow their business.

How To Sell CBD Online In 2022 & Find The Best Platform For Success

If you’re looking into CBD sales or want to know how to sell CBD oil online, this list of eCommerce platforms is a great place to start.

Expert Analyst & Reviewer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

As selling CBD becomes easier, the hot question for business owners breaking into the industry or expanding their current CBD revenue streams is how to sell CBD online. There are complex, shifting legalities involved in selling CBD oil and CBD-infused products online. Plus, not every eCommerce platform is suited for selling CBD, so you have to carefully consider your online selling strategy before diving into this trending industry.

Keep on reading to learn how to sell CBD online, where you should sell your products, and what eCommerce tools are available to grow your sales.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

Best for CBD business owners who want a simple all-in-one eCommerce and POS solution. Best for established large-scale CBD business owners looking to sell globally. Best for selling CBD oil online with free End-to-End eCommerce plan. Best for scaling an online CBD business. Best for CBD sellers looking for a scalable eCommerce solution and POS integration. Best for CBD business owners who want a highly customized storefront and selling functionalities. Best for small sellers who want to sell subscriptions and do not plan to scale their business.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

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Table of Contents

How To Sell CBD Online

Here’s a quick rundown of how to get your online CBD business up and running.

Understand Federal & Local Laws To Sell CBD Online

CBD is derived from hemp, which is very similar to marijuana but with one distinct difference: the level of THC content. “Hemp” is just a term for cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, the chemical that induces the “high” associated with cannabis.

Once the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, farmers could legally grow hemp (and sell hemp-derived CBD products) throughout the US. Any CBD product that contains over 0.3% THC is considered illegal on a federal level, so make sure you stay under that threshold.

CBD products are still subject to food, pet food, device, cosmetics, drug, and dietary supplement regulations as specified by the FDA. You cannot legally make any health claims about your CBD products, as there is not enough scientific evidence to back up those claims.

Also, each state has its own laws concerning selling CBD. For example, in Utah, you can only sell CBD oil, not products like edibles or concentrates.

So, before you start selling CBD online, check with your state’s laws concerning what exactly you are allowed to sell, what kinds of licenses you’ll need to sell in your state, and whether there are specific regulations you need to adhere to.

Decide On The CBD Products You’ll Sell

The kind of CBD products you sell depends on your state’s laws, the kind of audience you plan on selling to, and the benefit you want to offer to that audience. For example, you could sell CBD treats for pets to help calm them down, or you might sell CBD cream to help buyers manage their pain and discomfort.

The following are the most well-known CBD products on the market, how they are used, and who you should market them to:

  • Oils: CBD oils are made up of CBD and a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil and MCT, which is sourced from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. Oils are mild in flavor and versatile, so they can be used by a variety of people for pain and anxiety relief.
  • Tinctures: CBD tinctures are alcohol-based liquids that are very bitter, but have a long shelf life. To mask the bitterness, tinctures are often mixed with additives like flavoring and sweeteners. Since tinctures are so concentrated, they are best for people who want the effects of CBD immediately.
  • Capsules: Capsules offer a fast, convenient way to take CBD. It’s a great product for people trying CBD for the first time since taking capsules is so familiar.
  • Edibles: Edible CBD products are foods and beverages infused with CBD. Customers who want a pleasurable experience may purchase CBD gummies, candies, cookies, and beverages. Selling edibles does come with more regulations and requirements, so keep that in mind when deciding what your product offering will be.
  • Isolates: A CBD isolate is a pure concentrated CBD powder. Many people like to use it as an ingredient in food, beverages, and creams at home.
  • Vaporizers & Vape Concentrates: Inhaling CBD is one of the easiest, fastest ways to achieve the calming, pain-relieving effects buyers are looking for. Vapes and vaporizers are also convenient to carry around and use almost anywhere. Find out how to sell vape and vape accessories online.
  • Topicals: Topicals are lotions, gels, and salves containing CBD. They are often used for pain relief, especially among baby boomers who purchase CBD-based products.
  • Patches: CBD patches are similar to nicotine patches. They are placed on the skin, and the CBD is absorbed throughout the day. Patches are a great option for people who need a consistent low dose of CBD, and for those who do not have access to other forms of CBD throughout the day.
  • For Pets: There are entire lines of CBD-based products for cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits. Pet owners can buy CBD oils, treats, and capsules to help their pets manage pain and anxiety.

Register Your Business To Follow State & Local Laws

To legally and safely operate your business, you have to register it. This includes registering your business name, registering with the IRS and your state’s revenue office, obtaining any special local licenses and permits, and acquiring any CBD-specific licensure.

Read our full guide on how to register your business to learn more about registering your online CBD business.

Find A CBD Sales Supplier

Do copious research to find a supplier that:

  • Produces genuine CBD derived from hemp stalks and leaves, not hemp seeds
  • Sources their CBD using CO2 extraction, as CO2 extraction does not leave any chemicals or contaminants in their product
  • Routinely performs internal quality assurance testing
  • Uses third-party labs to routinely test their products for CBD content and unwanted additives
  • Provides third-party test results to you, which you can list on your company’s website to build transparency and consumer trust
  • Makes no medical claims about the effects of their product (which is illegal according to the FDA)
  • Produces CBD that contains less than 0.3% of THC

Also, consider your specific product offerings and pricing structures while you conduct your research. Choose suppliers that offer a range of products in different concentrations at a good price. Many suppliers offer wholesale programs with generous discounts.

Note: If a supplier cannot or will not provide any documentation concerning product quality, avoid that supplier at all costs.

Choose A Platform To Sell Your CBD Products Online

Since the laws and regulations involved with CBD online sales are ever-shifting, opening an online CBD store is not exactly straightforward. Platforms such as Square require you to register for a high-risk merchant account, which has higher payment processing rates than “low-risk” businesses.

Platforms like Shopify do not offer payment processing at all. If you choose a platform without built-in payment processing, you have to use a third-party payment gateway to process your CBD sales.

Read our post on the top CBD-friendly payment processors to find an option that suits your business size and budget.

7 Best eCommerce Platforms To Sell CBD Online

The best eCommerce platforms and tools to sell CBD online are:

  • Square: Best All-In-One CBD Sales Option
  • SMB Global: Best International CBD Payment Processor
  • Shift4Shop: Best For Online CBD Oil Sales
  • BigCommerce: Best Value For Money
  • Shopify: Best For Online And Retail
  • WooCommerce: Best For Customization
  • Wix: Best For Small Subscription Sites

1. Square: Best All-In-One CBD Sales Option

Square

Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • CBD-specific payment processing program
  • Transparent pricing structure
  • Integrates with most eCommerce platforms
  • Offers omnichannel selling, including a free web builder
  • Straightforward POS (point-of-sale) options

Cons

  • Termination possibility
  • Account stability issues

Note: We are focusing on payment processors before eCommerce platforms because many eCommerce platforms cannot process CBD sales. Many platforms have partnered with third-party payment processors to handle sales in order to resolve this payment issue.

Square Features

Square has payment processing, web building, and POS features, including:

  • Free online checkout link generator
  • Free online store builder with customizable templates
  • Subscription sign ups
  • Facebook, Instagram, TikTok integrations
  • Age confirmation
  • In-store & curbside pickup
  • Shipping label printing
  • Shipping discounts
  • Automated tax settings
  • Abandoned cart recovery (Performance and Premium plans only)
  • Customer loyalty program (starting at $45/month)
  • Coupon generator
  • Email marketing (starting at $15/month)
  • Integrations with other eCommerce tools and store builders

Unfortunately, Square does not support dropshipping at this time.

Square Pricing

  • Free: $0/month
  • Professional: $16/month, or $12/month if billed annually
  • Performance: $29/month, or $26/month if billed annually
  • Premium: $79/month, or $72/month if billed annually

Hardware Costs

You can supplement your online CBD sales by attending trade shows, events, or opening your own physical storefront with the help of POS hardware.

Square POS card readers range from $0 (free Square Reader connected to your mobile device) to $799 (Square Register).

Payment Processing Costs

  • 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person (card-present) transactions
  • 3.8% + $0.30 per transaction for online and in-app transactions
  • 4.4% + $0.15 per transaction for keyed-in and card-on-file transactions

Contract Requirements Or Warnings

There are no long-term commitments or monthly subscription fees required to start selling CBD online with Square.

If Square finds out that you are violating or potentially violating any CBD-related laws, the company may freeze or terminate your account at their sole discretion.

Where Square Really Shines For Selling CBD

Square’s CBD program allows you to sell most CBD products online and in person, without restrictions outside of federal laws. The transparent pricing structure is a refreshing take on CBD payment processing, especially for small businesses that need to carefully monitor their spending.

Plus, Square’s POS and eCommerce store builder integrations give you the freedom to sell any way you want.