Shopify CBD products - what is involved
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Selling CBD products on Shopify in the United States of America isn't just using the website builder and popping the products on your store, get a payment gateway, and off you go. If you are a US merchant that is considering selling CBD products (cannabidiol) there are laws and regulations regarding Hemp and Hemp-derived products that require you to abide by, and which Shopify has to be involved.
Shopify and CBD
Hemp being a member of the Cannabis Sativa plant species can produce low concentrations of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) but high concentrations of CBD which makes it ideal to cultivate, refine and generate a range of products from. CBD Oil for example is very popular which treats various pain and discomfort due to arthritis and other ailments as well as alleviates low moods, depression, and anxiety. CBD does however have side effects such as drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and diarrhea. With this in mind, setting up an online store with a credit card processing gateway will allow you to operate your online sales.
For more information on CBD and Hemp: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/your-account/legal/hemp
Shopify has made a special page for you to start a CBD online store, and this is uncommon for most eCommerce platforms since encouraging a particular product line has never been singled out before. However, getting your store up and running quickly is what Shopify tries to enable - so if you haven't started a new store yet, you should see this page: https://www.shopify.com/sell/cbd
Once a store is created, you will need to fill out the following form for the attestation of the CBD product (Hemp and Hemp-derived). https://www.shopify.com/admin/cbd/attestation
The laws regarding CBD, Hemp, and Hemp-derived
The Food and Drug Administration as well as local laws regulate this sector of this product. As a store owner, you must be familiar with the laws surrounding your products and therefore ensure that following these regulators are compatible with your eCommerce platform, your payment processors and you are FDA approved. CBD, Hemp, and Hemp-derived products are tightly regulated, therefore it may require checking in with your legal counsel on your intent to sell online.
Credit Card processing companies
With the creation of a Shopify account, and your attestation form filled out, you will find that there are only 3 payment gateways that will process CBD/Hemp based products:
DigiPay - https://digipayinc.com/digipay-cbd/
Authorize.net - https://www.authorize.net/
Pinwheel - https://pinwheelpay.com/shopify-cbd.php
Before starting to fill out your store with your Shopify Theme and product assets, you need to apply and get approved by one of these 3 credit card processors - there is no point in doing all the work and being declined.
You can only set up Email-only notifications since SMS is not allowed regarding CBD/Hemp-based products. This is regarding confirmation notifications and shipping notifications. This toggle must be applied here when logged into your administration area. https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/products/cbd-products#disable-your-customers-sms-notifications
Setting up your store
Selling CBD products when it comes to a store setup is reasonably straightforward. You can pick up a free theme, select the type of paid plan for Shopify, and tweak your eCommerce features for your marketing funnel and you are practically there. Some email marketing will help drive your promotions and events in driving your sales.
As always, some research on the local laws is required, as well as checking with your legal counsel that everything is in order when it comes to your products (ensuring that the full product mix is covered), all the way through to your attestation and payment gateway declarations. No matter the number of products, you have to justify each and every one to ensure they all comply. CBD oil is in high demand, especially in the aging population, and has to be restricted to the USA only as exporting would be subject to additional legal requirements.
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