The CBD industry has no shortage of rules and limitations, making it difficult for a CBD brand to find the right technology partners to sell their products online. While this hasn’t stopped new brands from popping up, Shopify is making it easier for CBD companies to launch an ecommerce site.
“When looking for a partner, I went with a platform that had been proven in the market and was simple and efficient to use. Shopify has been great for us, and we are just about to relaunch version 2 of the site in the next couple weeks,” said Richie Harrington, CEO of Vaital Organics.
On September 17th, 2019, Shopify became the next ecommerce platform to announce a CBD program. Shopify, known for its reliable, easy-to-use platform, will now support merchants selling hemp, or hemp-derived CBD products in permitted U.S. states. This means CBD companies will have access to Shopify’s tools and features to help grow their business. (Read Shopify’s FAQ here.)
“Shopify has unmatched expertise in emerging industries, along with the resources merchants need to be successful in the fast-growing market of hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S.,” said Harley Finkelstein, Chief Operating Officer, Shopify in a recent press release. “Shopify’s reliable technology and extensive partner network means that businesses can ride the wave of demand for these products and give consumers more choice.”
Reliable Payment Options
CBD merchants now have access to CBD-friendly payment partners, including Authorize.net, DigiPay, and eMerchant Brokers. If you’re currently using a payment provider that supports the sale of hemp and CBD, you can still use them as long as it integrates with Shopify. Note: Shopify Payments will not be available for CBD products.
Shopify Shipping profiles allow you to set restrictions based on location for CBD products—ensuring your sales stay in permitted states.
Commerce Capabilities and Features
Merchants will be able to leverage Shopify’s CBD related tools and capabilities, including third-party apps and built-in SEO. The drag-and-drop store builder and integrated apps make it easy for CBD brands to launch a direct to consumer channel with custom features and functionality.
CBD merchants will receive customized and transparent support specific to their industry, including community forums and Shopify’s support team.
This announcement is good news for CBD brands, but many merchants have been relying on the platform since launching their businesses. “Initially the regulations deemed to be a challenge before the Farm Bill passed in 2018, but once that did, it opened up the path for companies like ours to capitalize on the growing ecommerce trend,” said Harrington.
For Shopify, the opportunity was right for the company, and the demand is there. According to BDS Analytics, CBD sales is projected to exceed $20 billion in the U.S. by 2024. It makes sense that ecommerce platforms are getting more involved in the once-controversial industry. “The CBD market has seen explosive growth as you know, so we feel in the next few years the taboo many still have about it will diminish and the market will go mainstream,” said Trung Nguyen, Co-Founder of Foragers Health.
If you need help getting your CBD brand off the ground, or you’d like to optimize your current CBD site, feel free to reach out to the Blue Acorn iCi team here.