As one of the global leaders in digital storefronts, Shopify caters to a wide range of businesses. Among them are vendors who sell CBD, a hemp-derived supplement that is all the rage these days.
With rising demand comes market growth. According to current market research, the CBD industry is worth roughly $5 billion—but it’s expected to soar to nearly $20 billion by 2025…
If you want to earn extra money, consider selling CBD on Shopify. This guide contains everything you need to know to sell CBD on Shopify.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid naturally found in cannabis plants. It is one of nearly 103 such substances and is considered a hemp-derived substance.
According to current legislation in the United States, the sale and production of cannabis are illegal since it is a Schedule I drug.
However, CBD is not technically considered cannabis, so the legislation governing CBD and other hemp-derived products differs.
What is CBD Used For?
CBD is commonly used as an alternative to many medications and supplements. People use CBD for:
- Anxiety or depression (in edible form or smoked)
- Pain (as a salve, lotion, or oil)
- Manage symptoms of epilepsy, PTSD, and other disorders
- Calming pets
- Gaining weight healthily
- And more!
Ultimately, the market for CBD is significant—and promises to continue to grow.
Can You Sell CBD on Shopify?
Shopify allows U.S.-based merchants to sell CBD and other hemp-derived products on Shopify. However, there are specific measures that Shopify requires its vendors to take.
While CBD isn’t considered psychoactive (and, thus, not a drug), not all CBD products are subject to the same regulations. For example, Shopify does not allow the sale of marijuana-derived products–including CBD.
Additionally, there are stipulations surrounding the THC content of the CBD you are selling.
You can use this guide for a clear and actionable overview of Shopify’s guidelines—and how to meet them quickly and effectively.
Best Merchant Services can provide you with a merchant account for your business, regardless of whether you are a high-risk merchant due to your industry or credit history.
Before You Begin
You need to take several steps to successfully sell CBD on Shopify.
First, you’ll need a Shopify account. You’ll also have to set up a storefront to sell your products. There are many considerations to keep in mind when creating a storefront, so remember to research and seek out models for your site.
Consider the following before you begin:
- Download, sign, and submit an Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products: This document is essential and ensures that you can legally participate in this market.
- You must live within the United States.
- Your store address must be within the United States
- You’ll need a CBD supplier and a CBD-friendly payment processing service.
- You cannot set up SMS notifications, as this functionality is unavailable to CBD merchants.
Setting Up Your CBD Store in 4 Steps
Once you’ve decided to sell CBD on Shopify, you’ll need to follow these steps. You can efficiently complete this process in a week if you work quickly, but remember to do your due diligence and conduct sufficient research.
Read all documents carefully and ask a Shopify representative if you have any questions.
Step One: Set up Your CBD Store
To set up your CBD store, go to Shopify’s CBD page.
You can start with a 3-day free trial, giving you the time to determine if the business is for you. If not, you can cancel your account at any time.
Shopify does not require you to enter your credit card information, so you can trust that the company won’t charge you if you cancel.
With Shopify’s drag-and-drop builder and over 6,000 integrated app options, you can customize your store as much or as little as you like.
Step Two: Submit Documentation
You cannot sell CBD on Shopify without submitting an Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.
This document is relatively simple, but you must read it carefully before submitting it to understand your agreement.
This form says that as a seller of CBD products, you will comply with local, state, and federal laws surrounding the sale of CBD. It also maintains that if anything should happen, you will not blame Shopify.
These stipulations are standard, so you don’t have to worry about agreeing to something unsafe.
To fill out the form, you’ll need to be signed in to your Shopify account as the primary owner, and your store must be within the United States.
Step Three: Find and Choose a Payment Portal
Once you’ve submitted your form, you can complete your setup. You do not have to wait for Shopify to respond to your submission.
Most Shopify merchants use in-platform payment portals.
Unfortunately, Shopify does not permit CBD merchants to use their in-app payment portals, so you’ll have to apply for a third-party service.
Shopify can support third-party providers that allow the sale of hemp-derived products and CBD.
You can easily apply for our CBD-friendly payment processing service. The process is relatively simple, and your payment portal should work with your storefront.
Step Four: Set Up Customer Notifications
Shopify is famous for its text notification feature, but there are special rules for CBD merchants.
While you can set up email notifications for your customers, you cannot use the SMS notification feature.
As a result, you’ll need to disable the text notification system by following these steps:
- Go to Shopify Admin
- Click Settings -> Checkout
- Go to customer contact and select customers who can only check out using email.
- Disable shipping updates by unchecking. Customers can add a phone number or email to receive shipping updates after completing their order.
- Click Save.
You must do this before selling CBD products since Shopify does not allow SMS notifications for CBD sellers, and you could lose access to your storefront.
There are several additional factors to consider when selling CBD on Shopify.
First, remember that this list may change over time since legislation is currently in a transitional period across the United States.
Additionally, laws differ from state to state, so you should ensure that all sales are legal in your area. Check the Food and Drug Administration updates for CBD frequently.
If you need extra customer support, which isn’t bad if you plan to sell CBD, consider opting for a Shopify Plus account. With this option, you can access the Merchant Success team anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Consider the following answers to our most common questions.
Can I sell CBD outside of the United States?
You can only use the process described in this guide if you live within the United States. If you are located in Canada, you must be a licensed cannabis seller to sell CBD.
Can I hire a Shopify Expert if I sell CBD?
You can hire a Shopify expert to help build your site and promote your business if you sell CBD.
Shopify experts are free to work with you at their discretion.
Can I add hemp or CBD products if I already have a Shopify storefront?
You can, but you will have to use a third-party payment portal, and you may need to open a second store.
Your first store will not be affected if you open a second store.
Which payment providers can I use to sell CBD with Shopify?
If you choose to sell CBD with Shopify, you’ll have to use a third-party payment gateway. You can choose between Shopify’s partners, DigiPay and PinWheel, or your Shopify-integrated payment gateway, provided they allow the sale of hemp-derived products.
Keep in mind that the process can be lengthier than others since CBD transactions are heavily regulated. Third-party payment portals will have to approve you, which Shopify cannot guarantee.
Where can I ship CBD?
You’ll need to know the laws of individual states and consult a legal council to determine where you can ship your products.
You can set up shipping zones on Shopify to limit your customers’ shipping options to states you are allowed to ship to.
How should I ship my CBD products?
You can use Shopify Shipping to ship your products, provided the carrier allows you to send hemp-derived products.
You can also use third-party shipping and carrying services, but you should contact your carrier to determine if they can deliver your products.
Can I use Shopify POS to sell my CBD products?
If you want to sell CBD products in person, you can use Shopify POS.
You’ll use an external credit card terminal and your third-party payment processor to complete the transaction. You cannot use any hardware that leverages Shopify Payments.
Ultimately, selling CBD on Shopify is a lucrative business—and it’s likely to grow exponentially in the coming years.
As long as you take the proper precautions to protect yourself and your business, you should be able to sell your CBD products on Shopify with no problem.
Remember to keep a paper trail and hold on to all your receipts. Additionally, keep an eye on legislative developments in this area to determine where to take your business moving forward.
Best of luck!