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How to Legally Sell CBD Online

For many entrepreneurs, the CBD industry in the United States is a chance to get into a new market early. It is estimated the global CBD industry will bring in over $20 billion in the next five years. If you plan to launch a CBD business, you may decide an online store is the best […]

How to Legally Sell CBD Online

For many entrepreneurs, the CBD industry in the United States is a chance to get into a new market early. It is estimated the global CBD industry will bring in over $20 billion in the next five years.

If you plan to launch a CBD business, you may decide an online store is the best option for you. With 43 percent of CBD sales happening online, you can reach many customers in their homes.

But selling CBD online comes with unique challenges, especially in the United States. We’ll take a look at what those challenges are and what you need to know to start legally selling CBD online.

What Is CBD?

CBD is one of the most prevalent compounds found in cannabis plants. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is known for providing users with many effects such as increased relaxation and calmness. But the reason CBD is so popular is that it will not get users high.

Another compound, called THC, is responsible for the “high” people most often associated with using cannabis products. CBD products do not contain THC or only contain trace amounts, offering users the benefits of cannabis without the high.

Is CBD Legal in the United States?

There is some confusion about what is and is not legal on a federal level regarding cannabis and its products. And the legalities always seem to be changing and much-debated.

When it comes to selling CBD, only hemp-derived CBD is legal in the United States.

Cannabis sativa plants can be divided into categories; hemp and marijuana. Marijuana plants and their products are not legal in the United States because they will contain THC. However, hemp plants have low THC levels, making their use legal, thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018. 

Hemp-derived CBD must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC to be legal and for it to be legally sold. If a company sells CBD products that aren’t hemp-based and have more than the allowed amount of THC, they will be subject to penalties. 

So, yes, right now, CBD is legal in the United States under federal law, but only if it is hemp-derived with less than 0.3 percent THC.

Popular CBD Products

Popular CBD Products

CBD can be found in almost anything these days. Many products are infused with CBD, meeting the needs of customers. Popular CBD products you may consider selling include:

  • CBD oils
  • CBD tinctures
  • CBD lotions
  • CBD creams
  • CBD bath bombs, and more.

The Challenges Online CBD Retailers Face

Now that you know you can legally sell CBD products, you may ready to add them to your online inventory. Before you do, however, let’s look at the unique challenges online CBD retailers face. 

  • Though selling hemp-derived CBD is legal on a federal level, every state will have its restrictions. Some may not allow for it to be sold or used in the state, while it is perfectly legal in others. It is essential to know the different rules of each state and monitor them as they can change. 
  • Some states may require licensing to sell CBD products in their state—and may even have a finite number of licenses they will grant. This means you’ll need to know what states you plan to sell to, be licensed appropriately, and follow their guidelines. 
  • Watch your products. Though hemp-derived CBD is legal, the FDA says it cannot be added to food or drink, making some edibles illegal. Again, be sure to look into the laws of what is and is not allowed in each state you want to offer products.
  • You’ll have packaging regulations to follow. If you sell CBD online, you’ll want the products you sell to reflect your brand. This will lead you to create custom cannabis packaging. But, packaging must follow regulations set forth by each state. It’s often worth hiring someone experienced in designing for the cannabis industry to help with this.
  • Shipping can be a challenge. Since not all states allow the sale of CBD, you’ll need to know how to ship to the states you are selling to safely. Look into current shipping rules before launching your online CBD shop.

How to Sell CBD Online 

How to Sell CBD Online 

If selling CBD online sounds like a task you are ready to take on, great! 

Starting an online CBD shop is similar to creating other businesses. But you will need to do some additional research before you launch. Do you need a license to operate? What laws may impact your business? You’ll also need to do some market research; explore the types of products you want to sell and who your target audience will be. 

Next, you’ll need to source your product. Make sure you choose a reputable producer to work with. You want a quality product that follows all regulations set forth by the government. 

Once you have the research and product sourcing done, it’s time to do some good old-fashioned marketing. The cannabis market is getting crowded, and you’ll want to stand out. Work with a company to create custom, branded packaging. You may even consider offering branded accessories such as lighters or branded, hemp-made shirts to provide additional products. 

Create your site. This can be a daunting task for those who aren’t web-savvy. Like you can use professionals to help with your branding, you can also hire companies or people to build your online site. Consider finding someone with experience with CBD sites, as they will likely have helpful insight. 

Get your payments in order. There’s no point in selling anything if you can’t accept payment for it. You’ll need to find a payment processor that works with people in the cannabis (or CBD) industry. Not all processors will work in this area as it is considered higher-risk. 

Finally, figure out your shipping process. Educate yourself on the rules and regulations on shipping CBD products (or even delivering them locally), then put a plan into place. 

Once you have all the pieces together, you can launch your website to sell CBD legally. Just be sure to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing regulations.