US merchants in certain states are able to sell select hemp or hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products on Shopify. In this complete guide, we'll walk you through all legal aspects of selling CBD on Shopify, how to build a CBD store on Shopify, with the best marketing practices and examples for your inspiration. Ever since Shopify began allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD and CBD related products a few months ago, we’ve seen an explosion of CBD stores on the
Selling CBD on Shopify in the United States (US)
This page was printed on Sep 15, 2022. For the current version, visit https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/products/cbd-products.
If you’re a US merchant and you want to learn how to set up your Shopify store to sell hemp and hemp-derived products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), then use this page for information about some laws surrounding hemp and hemp-derived products that might apply to your business. Learn more about hemp and hemp-derived products.
Hemp is a type of plant in the cannabis sativa plant species, and produces a broad range of cannabinoids. Hemp doesn’t produce high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but is capable of producing high concentrations of CBD.
To sell hemp and hemp-derived products that contain CBD, you need to review and submit the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.
The Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products is only available to stores that are based in the United States. If the document doesn’t open in your Shopify admin, then verify that your store is a US-based store.
If you haven’t created a Shopify store yet, then go to www.shopify.com/sell/cbd to sign up for a trial store.
Laws in the United States surrounding hemp and hemp-derived products are changing, so you should consult with legal counsel before you sell these products on Shopify. Shopify can’t provide legal advice on what and where you can sell.
Before selling hemp or hemp-derived products on Shopify, review and monitor federal, state, and local laws. You should also monitor updates from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Set up your store to sell hemp or hemp-derived products
If you sell CBD products, then you can only set up email-only order and shipping notifications. SMS notifications are not supported for merchants who sell CBD products.
- Log in to your Shopify store. If you haven’t created a store yet, then go to www.shopify.com/sell/cbd to sign up for a trial store.
- Carefully review and submit the Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. You need to be signed into your Shopify account as the store owner to complete this form. If you’re not the store owner, or your store address is not located in the United States, then this link will automatically redirect you to the Shopify admin. Before you sell any CBD products, make sure that you understand and submit the attestation form. After you have submitted the form, the attestation process is automatic – you don’t need to wait for a response from Shopify regarding the attestation form.
- Select and apply for a third-party payment gateway. Shopify Payments is not available for hemp or CBD products at this time. However, Shopify has partnered with third-party payment gateways that support the sale of certain hemp and/or hemp-derived CBD products. The requirements for approval may vary for each gateway. Review the requirements and apply directly to any of these gateways using the following Shopify-specific links:
- Set up email-only customer notifications for orders and shipping. You can only send notifications related to CBD products and shops by email. SMS messages aren’t supported. For steps to enable email-only customer notifications, refer to Disable your customer’s SMS notifications.
This list may not be exhaustive, and may change over time.
Hemp-derived CBD transactions are vetted more carefully by third-party payment gateways than other transactions, so the application and approval process might be more involved than usual. Third-party payment gateways take into account many factors in approving payments and rates for shops selling CBD products, including product type, whether the business was recently created, transaction history, volume, product mix, and others. Approvals are at the discretion of each third-party payment gateway, and Shopify can’t guarantee the approval of your shop.
Additionally, it is important that you know your responsibilities. Like all Shopify merchants, it’s your responsibility to follow federal, state, and local laws and the respective policies of Shopify, our app and partner ecosystem, and any third-party providers. If you have additional questions, then contact the third-party providers directly, or consult with an attorney.
Merchants using Shopify Plus can contact the Merchant Success team for guidance and dedicated support in completing the steps required to sell hemp or hemp-derived CBD products on Shopify.
Disable your customer’s SMS notifications
You can only send notifications related to CBD products and shops by email. SMS messages aren’t supported. For information about customer notifications, refer to Set up your customer’s notification options at checkout.
Shopify CBD stores: Templates, Best Practices and Tutorial
In recent years, CBD has become increasingly popular on e-commerce sites and it is gradually becoming a familiar product for the average person.
According to Gallup, more than 64% of Americans had heard of CBD in 2019, and about 64 million Americans have tried CBD in the last two years. It can be said that this is a robust booming market, especially in the US. According to Cowen, the US’s CBD market is estimated to reach $16 billion by 2025.
CBD’s benefits are increasingly recognized by experts, and it’s gradually becoming commonplace for it to be consumed. Along with that, the number of people trying CBD for the first time is also increasing dramatically. This is a perfect time for you to enter this market. You can quickly start to sell CBD products by opening a Shopify CBD store.
However, selling CBD is a high risk business. It’s a new type of product with unclear legislation. If you violate the rules when selling, it can lead to serious consequences like your store being shut down.
If you are researching for or want to enter this niche, this article will give you a quick overview of the CBD market and how you can use Shopify to sell hemp derived CBD products.
01. What Is CBD?
People often don’t distinguish between hemp and CBD, with marijuana.
So we will start by determining the differences between these two substances. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the more than 85 most common chemical compounds found inside the resin gland of female hemp (cannabis).
The difference between CBD and marijuana is that CBD products don’t contain any THC (the ingredient that makes you high) like marijuana. CBD has absolutely no effects on the user’s nerves and doesn’t intoxicate you.
Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic properties. CBD oil has a wide range of benefits to relieve symptoms associated with inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain, and epilepsy.
However, many CBD uses have not yet been validated by the FDA, and CBD’s effects on people can vary, so be careful when advertising about its benefits.
There are different types of hemp derived CBD products and several great ways to use them. Depending on the method and dosage used, each customer will have his or her own preference. You can find the following CBD on the market:
Each type of CBD will have different dosages and effects on each person. You should provide customers enough information about each so they can make the best choice.
There is currently only one CBD-based and FDA-licensed drug. It’s Epidiolex, the first and only hemp derived CBD product to be certified by the FDA.
Selling hemp and CBD is a high-risk business so if you see an FDA logo on other products, then be careful because this is likely an untrustworthy one and the business is using false advertising tactics.
02. Can CBD Be Sold On Shopify?
In 2019, Shopify began supporting the sale of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol products. However, Shopify currently only supports the hemp and CBD market in the US (maybe Canada), so for now, you can only have a Shopify CBD business in this market..
CBD is legal to buy, sell, and use in a limited number of countries and territories around the world.
The Farm Bill 2018 Act passed by the US Department of Agriculture state that: hemp is clearly defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Hemp is also removed from the CSA, which means that cannabis or derivatives with a THC of less than 0.3% will no longer be substances enforced under federal law.
To have a legal CBD business in the US, the CBD in your product must be extracted from female hemp and have less than 0.3 THC%. However, this law may differ in some countries and some states.
For example, in the UK, CBD must be THC-free and extracted from industrial hemp to be legal. In other EU countries, the THC level must be at 0.2% or less. In Switzerland, this figure is reduced to 0.1%.
CBD products extracted from marijuana and with a THC concentration more than 0.3% are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In DEA parlance, that means the administration believes it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
If you are in a country outside the US, you should research the market and the laws since CBD is still being assessed as an illegal product in many countries.
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03. Can I Dropship CBD?
It is possible to dropship CBD products in the US market. In order to do this, merchants will have to find suppliers to partner with.
One caveat when you open a CBD dropshipping store is the quality of the supplier’s product. Make sure the quality is good and safe before it goes on sale in your store.
Check out Dropified – a CBD Dropshipping app that will handle all the heavy works for you.
04. How to market CBD products
The most important thing about when you start selling CBD is marketing. This is a commodity that has been legalized in many states of the US, however, you still cannot freely advertise them online because marketing channels like Facebook or Google will always have their own rules and policy to prevent it.
As a merchant, you’ll need some tips to promote your Shopify CBD store.
4.1. Focus on blogging and SEO.
In addition to advertising on paid channels, you should take advantage of organic traffic from SEO. Having blogs on your site can help customers learn about your brand and choose what right for them.
4.2. Don’t run ads directly to your product page.
Put the link to your landing page on your blog. Although hemp-derived CBD has been legal since the 2018 Farm Bill, channels like Facebook and Google still consider them illegal products. Their policies on advertising CBD have left many merchants feeling confused.
CBD is not mentioned on Facebook’s Advertising Policies page, but is still included in its prohibited items. In its recent announcements, Facebook has taken steps to loosen its ban on advertising for these products.
Specifically, the social network now allows shop owners to run ads about ingestible hemp and topical CBD. At the same time direct these ads to sites with Hemp or CBD content.
However, you will not be allowed to use CBD pages as your ad’s landing page. Instead, you should send visitors to your blog pages and use them like a landing page for the products.
4.3. Influencer Marketing
This is a well-suited marketing method to bypass the ban on CBD products. When choosing to buy, customers will try to find stores with a well-known brand and reputation.
Using influencers will quickly increase your store’s trustworthiness. When you choose the right influencer, you can also find more leads with a smaller budget than paid advertising.
4.4. Native Advertising
Native advertising is where your ads will blend into the website’s interface, creating a more natural feeling for users. This form of marketing is often targeted at customers who have heard of CBD and want more information about it.
4.5. Social Media
While running paid ads on Facebook or Instagram is limited, this is still a great marketing channel to reach customers on CBD groups. Social media is the perfect place for potential customers to find the information they need through tons of groups about CBD or Hemp.
Becoming active in those groups can raise awareness of your brand. Remember to focus on sharing knowledge and provide help to your customers, since the ultimate goal is to make your brand trustworthy.
4.6. Affiliate networks
This can give your brand more coverage. However, you need to develop a good relationship with affiliate brands because they will be promoting your brand to customers.
CBD is relatively new in the online market and there is still false and inaccurate information about it on the Internet.
Be careful your affiliates don’t share false information or violate the terms of social media platforms or the law when advertising your brand. Education and training is important for your affiliates.
4.7. Email marketing
This is an old marketing style, but still one of the best methods for promoting CBD. By combining pop-ups with lead magnets and discounts, you can convince customers to fill out your form.
4.8. Lead Magnets
These are instrumental in collecting emails while also sharing knowledge about CBD to consumers. By sharing product-related documents, PDFs or helpful videos you can push people closer to making the final purchase decision,
Podcasts: Let them hear your voice. Podcasts are one of the best ways to build trust with your customers simply by having conversations with them. Usually a podcast will specialize in a certain topic, so advertising on podcasts can help you directly reach people interested in CBD and hemp.
Some 55% of the US population has heard of podcasts. They’re a marketing channel that Shopify CBD online store owners should not ignore.
Don’t false advertise. There are many different CBD retailers that advertise divine effects like cancer treatment, or other benefits that have not been confirmed by the FDA. If these cases are found, Shopify will remove the store immediately.
05. Successful Shopify CBD stores – Case Study
Many stores are selling CBD on Shopify. Among those stores is Cannuka, a store famous for its products focused on health and beauty such as eye balm, lip balm, cleansing body bars, and face cream. Let’s look at Cannuka’s Shopify store and find out how they designed it to boost CBD sales.
Cannuka’s homepage shows benefits of their products, as well as educational information about the them to help customers trust the store and choose the product that suits them best.
Cannuka’s footer has links to FAQ, returns and shipping information, and the ingredients used in their products.
They also have a statement about the FDA at the bottom of the footer to confirm that their products have not been approved by the FDA and will not necessarily treat unrelated diseases.
Cannuka’s product page has useful elements such as product description, usage, benefits, and ingredients, providing complete details. The reviews on the page also contribute to confirm the quality and reliability of the brand.
Cannuka puts a lot of emphasis on the ingredients in their products. They even have a dedicated page showing information on each one. On this page, Cannuka provides information that users should know about CBD, Manuka honey, and other ingredients in their products. This helps them build trust.
06. How To Build A Shopify CBD Store
61. Start with Shopify
With Shopify officially supporting CBD stores since 2019, they’ve quickly become the top choice for many large and small CBD brands. You can easily open a Shopify CBD store online at a low cost – it’s completely free for the first 14 days.
6.2. Submit An Attestation
If in the US, you will need to submit an Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products. You can only see this page if your Shopify store is in the US.
If you are in another country or territory, you will be bound by the laws and policies there. For example, if you are in Canada, you will need a license to sell cannabis, as well as a Shopify Plus store, to be able to sell CBD online.
6.3. Set Up Payment
Although Shopify has support for stores that sell CBD, the Shopify payments system doesn’t support these products. Shopify Payments/Stripe, Square and Paypal are great for many sites, but when it comes to CBD sales, you need to get another Payment processor.
To be able to sell CBD on Shopify, you must use payment gateways from third party payment processor:
By having fully integrated with Shopify, DigiPay offer Shopify sellers streamlined CBD payment processing with great flexibility for business of all size, its features include, but not limited to:
- Fast-track approval
- Full credit card suite
- Powerful protection and vetted security
eMerchant Brokers has also partnered with Shopify to save merchant’s time with their CBD payment processor. To get a full understanding of how they can help Shopify sellers, you would need to fill in an application form.
Besides, if you want to use a different third party payment gateway, then it must:
- Be integrated with Shopify
- Support buying, exchaging, selling hemp, CBD & hemp related items.
Note that, due to American laws, class all CBD products as a narcotic, which means that Paypal does not accept the transactions of any hemp -derived products . The stance that PayPal has taken is very similar to the stance that it has with any transactions that include cannabis plants.
The Top 10 CBD Stores on Shopify
Forbes anticipates that by 2025 the CBD market in the US could be worth as much as $16 billion. And with Shopify making it easier than ever before to sell these products online, it’s no wonder that sellers, new and established, are opening online stores.
With all of these new stores opening, we thought we’d make a list of some of our favorites. So here, in no particular order, are 10 of the top CBD stores on Shopify at the moment.
The name Cannuka comes from the combination of cannabis and Manuka honey which are the two main ingredients in their products.
While their product offering centers mostly on skin care, what makes their products stand out is their branding and clean, modern looking website design.
Their products and co-founder have even been showcased on Shopify’s CBD landing page.
2) Mind CBD
Unlike Cannuka, Mind CBD has a much more extensive product range. They even offer CBD treats for cats and dogs.
Regardless of what CBD products you’re looking for, chances are you’ll be able to find it here. Assuming that it’s legal, of course.
The power of Briogeo’s Shopify CBD store is definitely in their branding.
By focusing exclusively on selling CBD infused hair care products, they’re able to target a lucrative audience and differentiate themselves from other CBD stores.
They’re also one of the few stores along with Cannuka to have their products included on Shopify’s CBD landing page.
4) Infusion CBD
Infusion CBD sells a range of their own CBD oils, balm, capsules, gummies and even vape oil.
What separates this particular CBD store from the others on this list is that it’s sells to the UK. Which highlights that selling CBD on Shopify isn’t just restricted to the US, but is possible in any jurisdiction that allows the sale of CBD products.
5) CBD Farmers Collective
This is a unique entry on this list in that CBD Farmers Collective isn’t a single seller. Rather the site allows farmers in the US to sign up and begin selling their CBD products.
This not only gives farmers an easy means to selling their product online, but also gives shoppers a wide range of choice.
6) LEEF Organics
All of LEEF’s products are 100% organic and non-GMO.
Their site is also well designed and contains high quality imagery of their products, letting them show off their equally high quality packaging.
If you’re going to open your own CBD store on Shopify, take a leaf out of their book and invest in professional grade photography.
7) RE Botanicals
One thing that this Shopify store takes advantage of that not many others on this list do are customer testimonials.
Doing so helps them establish trust in the minds of potential buyers, increasing the chance that they’ll convert into actual buyers. If you’re not sure how to get positive testimonials from customers, have a look at our guide to using email marketing to generate positive reviews.
8) Made By Hemp
Made By Hemp has been in the CBD game long before selling it became possible on Shopify.
In addition to selling their product, their site goes into detail about their production processes and where they source their hemp. Providing this information also helps to establish trust with potential buyers.
9) Josie Maran
Josie Maran isn’t your typical CBD store.
First of all, Josie Maran focuses primarily on makeup and skin care, but they also sell other related items such as hair care products and bath accessories.
Their CBD products represent a special product line, Skindope. This is the only other product to be included on Shopify’s CBD landing page along with the other two stores on this list.
Sabaidee’s mission is “to help one million people live a healthier and happier life by providing the highest quality hemp extracts that work.”
While we’re not sure how many customers they’ve helped so far, based on the over 1,000 customer reviews, it looks like they’re well on their way.
There you have it, 10 of the best CBD stores on Shopify at the moment.
If you know of any others, feel free to mention them in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to also check out our collection of CBD emails here.