Shopify is blazing new trails for the CBD community! In September Shopify announced that it would start offering new features on its platform that would help U.S. merchants who want to sell hemp and hemp-derived CBD products online or in-person, where permitted by law.
“We aren’t really getting into the CBD business, CBD is getting into the retail business,” Loren Padelford, vice president and general manager of Shopify Plus, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg Shopify CBD.
Products that are considered to be "hemp" as defined in the 2018 Farm Bill are allowed to be sold on Shopify, but products containing CBD derived from marijuana are not permitted to be sold on the platform. The final products must meet the definition of hemp in its final product.
While topical and consumable hemp and/or hemp-derived CBD products are allowed to be sold on Shopify, all merchants must meet the local and state laws that are applicable to them and Shopify is very specific that they are not responsible for merchants understanding and complying with the local laws. They even recommend that all merchants interested in selling CBD products online should first consult with an attorney, and check with local, state and updates on FDA requirements.
Merchants that live in a U.S. state that is legal to sell hemp products are permitted to sell to U.S. customers that are also legal to buy CBD products, according to their local laws. It is the responsibility of the merchant to properly research the laws in their intended customer area, and then use Shopify shipping zone restrictions to prevent customers from purchasing from a state that is not legal.
“As a business in the emerging CBD industry, we needed a platform that was reliable. It feels good to finally have a partner we can rely on to help us grow our CBD business,” said Michael Bumgarner, found of Cannuka, a natural skincare line that uses CBD and Manuka honey.
The first step is to set up a Shopify account and an online store. The owner of the store will need to complete and submit an Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products form to Shopify. They stress that this is not a form to breeze through, take your time and make sure you fully understand the attestation.
Take the time to thoroughly research the laws around your product, and then stay up to date as they may change, and it is your responsibility as a merchant to stay informed.
Happy selling CBD entrepreneurs!