Hemp-derived CBD, better known simply as CBD or THC-free cannabidiol, is becoming an increasingly more popular industry to be a part of. Make sure not to confuse hemp-derived CBD with marijuana-derived CBD, which is illegal in many countries because it contains the psychoactive compound THC. We will be focusing on selling hemp-derived CBD online as it it’s statistically negligible amounts of THC make it legal in many countries under specific regulatory guidelines. So, how can you get into selling CBD products online to start your own CBD business? Keep reading to find out!
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and can come from hemp plants or marijuana plants. When CBD comes from industrial hemp plants, it is derived from the plants’ fiber and seeds. It also typically has less THC than marijuana-derived CBD. Most CBD from hemp will have less than 0.3% of THC in it, while CBD from marijuana will have anywhere from 3-15% of THC.
Once the CBD is derived from the hemp plants, it can be turned into a variety of products and businesses. From CBD oil to supplements, sprays, topical balms, and capsules, there are plenty of products available to sell online CBD.
What is CBD used for?
Since CBD from hemp plants does not typically have a psychoactive effect, it is mostly sold for medical uses. This is because CBD products are incredibly versatile to help a number of ailments. Notably, CBD is an anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent alternative to regular medicines for people with chronic migraines, pain from arthritis, and even multiple sclerosis.
CBD can also be used to treat mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. As CBD can also be used to reduce nausea and vomiting, it can be used to help alleviate these symptoms in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
CBD is not only used as a medicine but can be used in skincare as well as it has tons of antioxidants that are great for our skin. The anti-inflammatory component of CBD is also great for treating acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Ultimately, CBD products have plenty of beneficial uses for various people, so starting a CBD business can be extremely successful.
Is it legal to sell CBD online?
As CBD is a drug, many potential business owners have wondered about the legality of selling CBD online or opening a CBD store. The good news is that CBD derived from hemp is legal in many parts of the world, especially compared to CBD derived from marijuana. The biggest problem when considering whether or not it is legal to sell CBD online is that the laws differ everywhere.
In the United States alone, every state has different laws on the legality of CBD products. This means that if you want to get into the online CBD industry, you need to make sure it is legal where you are located, and the location you intend to sell to.
If you are seriously considering starting your own business you will inevitably need hard statistics on industry dollar size and growth trends to secure investment. We highly recommend investigating prominent cannabis market research publishers and data analysis companies that provide all the hard numbers you need to justify starting up a business that revolves around this controversial plant.
How to sell CBD products
So, you are already sold and are a true cannabidiol believer, now you’re ready to spread the good word and turn more people into believers. Well, before you can start shipping product there are a few more steps you need to go through in terms of regulations and licensing to be fully above water, and trust us when we say, it is WELL worth the time to get all your ducks in a row as opposed to launching a half-baked fly-by-night operation as these tend to fail in catastrophic fashion.
It’s also worth investing in high quality products. The industry is already saturated with products that are made on the cheap that use more dangerous extraction methods like solvents and chemicals. The companies that are growing the fastest today place an emphasis on sustainability, organic growing and solvent-less extraction. Brands providing certifiably organic, full-spectrum CBD products are not only easier to sell but also sell at a higher price point, making them the ideal type of product to start a business around.
1. Get Licensed
The first step to starting any business is to obtain the necessary licenses. You will first need a business license relevant to your location, in the United States, for example, you will need an LLC. Depending on your location, you will also need a resale license if you will be buying your product to sell from wholesalers.
2. Find a wholesaler or supplier
Whether you want to work with a wholesaler or directly with a supplier, you will need to find a reputable one. If you buy poor-quality items, you will not get repeat customers. It is important that you find high-quality items that have been certified to sell in order to draw in more customers.
3. Set up your store and payment process
Other than drugstores, selling products with CBD from an online store is the number one way to break into the industry and start your own business. The most crucial aspect of your business will be your store. Use a domain name that is easy to remember and create an easy to navigate website to keep customers happy and coming back.
As CBD is not legal everywhere, being able to collect payment for your products can be complicated. Popular payment processors such as Paypal do not allow merchants to use their services to sell CBD. Thus, you will need to work with a high-risk processor such as Square or Merchant X instead. They will be able to work with CBD merchants, but will take a bigger percentage of your earnings.
Investing in a 420-friendly point of sale partner is also a smart option as they already know how to navigate the state and federal financial and regulatory minefield. Many big national POS providers are still shying away from cannabis-related businesses to their own detriment.
4. Advertise your product
Unfortunately, as CBD is not legal everywhere, there are stricter laws on advertising. Since the best way to market a new business is to advertise, we need to look into other legal ways to do that outside of traditional advertising.
The best way to promote your online store is by utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) throughout. SEO can help garner organic traffic to your website by using target keywords and phrases to ensure your website will appear higher in search engine results. To utilize SEO, however, you need to have content. Starting a blog related to your products that link to your store will help garner more attention as well.
Another great way to market is by hiring a social media influencer. The role of an influencer is becoming more popular, as many of us use social media regularly throughout the day. Influencers will first gain a large following in order to partner with companies, typically to advertise their products in a natural way. The aim is that the influencer’s followers will then buy the company’s product, earning money for both the company and the influencer. As influencers work independently, there are fewer legal issues in advertising through them compared to traditional advertising.
5. Fulfill your orders
The final step to starting your new CBD business is to fulfill your orders. Depending on the size of your new operation, you may begin by fulfilling orders at home by packaging your orders and shipping them out. It is important to keep on top of processing your orders to keep customers happy. If the process becomes too much to handle as you gain a larger customer base, consider expanding to a fulfillment center.