Selling CBD products on Ecwid in the United States
You can sell hemp-derived products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) online with Ecwid either if you are just starting your business or if you already have a brick-and-mortar store.
CBD is one of the active compounds found in hemp or marijuana plants. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering substance. That’s why hemp-derived CBD in its pure form has no psychoactive effect and is legal to sell in some states.
The Farm Bill passed in 2018 legalized the commercial production of hemp in the United States. This means you can grow industrial hemp with a license from the state or the USDA and then sell products containing hemp-derived CBD where your and your customers' state laws and regulations allow.
To sell hemp-derived CBD products, you need to comply with laws surrounding hemp and hemp-derived products in your jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of your customers. That includes domestic and international selling. Ecwid can't provide legal advice on what and where you can sell.
In the US, hemp-related laws vary from state to state. Generally speaking, at a federal level, it is legal to purchase CBD products only if the THC level is under 0.3% (it’s 0.0% in some states). Any cannabis plant with a higher concentration of THC is automatically considered a marijuana plant, and stronger regulations kick in. For international selling, the THC level may be less than 0.2%.
Since each state has a unique set of regulations regarding CBD sales, check your state’s laws before you open up a shop to make sure you’re complying.
You can check the following resources to find specific information about the FDA's current position on dietary supplements, food, and cosmetics that contain hemp or hemp-derived products such as CBD.
- FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
- FDA FAQ About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
- CBD legalization by state (open source list)
To start selling CBD products online, your first step is to establish your business as a legal entity in your state. In most cases, this can be done through the Secretary of State’s office. You’ll need to select the type of legal structure to operate your business under. There are a handful of choices, but the two most common are an LLC or S Corp.
Some local governments also require a business license. Check if yours does, and if so, be sure to secure one before you get started.
In addition to that, some states require a reseller license if you’re buying wholesale CBD products. Check if you need one and secure it as well before going online.
The CBD industry is deemed “high risk” due to the ongoing regulatory debacle. That’s why many payment processors, including Lightspeed Payments, Stripe, and PayPal, choose to exclude CBD sellers to minimize their operational risks.
Still, there are a variety of payment providers integrated with Ecwid that allow you to accept payments for selling CBD:
You can also integrate any other payment solution that accepts payments for CBD products, e.g., Inovio or PayKings. Adding a payment provider that doesn’t restrict CBD payments is possible with the help of Ecwid’s API. You can do it yourself if you have programming skills, hire a developer or request a quote from the Ecwid Customisation team to do it.
Selling CBD products along with non-CBD products will require a payment gateway that works with CBD. Alternatively, you can connect several payment methods, both CBD-friendly and not. After that, you can connect the CBD-payment method with a specific shipping method that allows CBD-products delivery, and then enable that shipping method to all CBD items in your store. That way, your CBD products will have only CBD-friendly payment and delivery methods associated with them.
Shipping services have their own policies regarding hemp and hemp-derived CBD products, so you should contact the carrier and confirm that they're able to deliver your products.
Once you’ve done that, you can implement shipping restrictions on your store to stay within safe shipping zones. For that, you first need to restrict shipping zones for your CBD delivery method, and then enable that shipping method for CBD products.
For a brick-and-mortar store, you can enable in-store pickup.
Before you start selling CBD products, find out if there are any additional CBD-related sales taxes in the state(s) where you have nexus. If there are none, then you are good to go with automatic taxes. No other actions are required.
In case hemp-derived cannabinoids are subject to any special or additional taxes, then using automatic taxation is not your option. You need to manually create taxes for all the products in your store, including CBD items.
If you have a physical store or sell CBD products in-person, you can sell both in-store and online. To implement an omnichannel strategy for your brand, use a Lightspeed Retail POS to accept credit cards and sync inventory across both online and offline stores.
You can easily transfer product data about your offline store from your Lightspeed Retail POS to your Ecwid online store and sync the data automatically. And vice versa, you can import products from your Ecwid store into your Lightspeed Retail POS and start accepting orders in-person, too.