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How to Market and Sell CBD

Danny Star, the CEO and Founder at Website Depot Digital Marketing Agency has assisted hundreds of small businesses to grow and expand.

CBD products are all over the place. They are used to treat arthritis and even the pain of an old Basset Hound. There are many reasons CBD products can be used safely by you or someone you know. It’s still considered a high-risk business. To be able sell CBD online, businesses must comply with numerous regulations, hurdles, and paperwork.

Website Depot’s team has assisted many CBD businesses grow despite all of that.

CBD, Shopify and Google And More

Shopify allows you to sell CBD products. It’s not easy.

To sell hemp and hemp-derived products, you will need to fill out an “Attestation For the Sale of Hemp” form. This must be returned to Shopify. You will need to verify that the products you are selling from hemp/hemp have no therapeutic or medical benefits. If the FDA has approved these products, you don’t need to do this.

You will also need to disable SMS notifications from Shopify. At the time of writing, CBD products as well as shop notifications cannot be sent via SMS. Moreover, you can’t use “Shopify Payments” either. Shopify is a partner with third-party payment gateways. This list isn’t extensive and includes only DigiPay and Pinwheel at the moment. You can still use Shopify if you have a payment provider who is okay with hemp/CBD, but not Pinwheel or DigiPay.

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It is important to remember that none of these actions are illegal. Shopify has had both successful and unsuccessful cases depending on which bank or merchant processes credit cards online.

This is what has worked for us.

There are many CBD pills and vitamins that can legally be sold. However, major banks and Google are avoiding it because this is still a “new” thing.

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What does “High-Risk” mean in the context of CBD?

It can be difficult to find merchant services/accounts or other business fundamentals because the CBD industry has been deemed “high-risk”. It’s high-risk because of the many things that could go wrong outside your business. Many people associate CBD with marijuana, even though CBD products don’t contain THC. It is therefore considered high-risk because of the potential for legislation to change.

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in more places than ever before. However, there is no guarantee that legislation will be passed forever. It is possible to backlash against legislation that does not outlaw vegetables, pillows, or carpet cleaning services.

Companies that sell CBD products or are associated with them still face a reputation risk, even though they have been around since 2021. This alone can lead to many merchant accounts being closed and other potential partners/vendors being lost.

Potential chargebacks are another factor that could make CBD highly-risky. As of the writing of this article, “the FDA have not approved any over-the counter drugs containing CBD and none of these products meets the requirements to legally be marketed without an approval new drug application.”

Merchant accounts that take on CBD companies could be at risk of being charged back. Customers could request a refund if CBD does not perform as they expect.

Online CBD Marketing and Selling

Many times I have used the phrase “as at this writing” several times. FDA’s page “FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol, (CBD),” shows enough evolution and movement to suggest that CBD could one day be federally legal.

We recommend that small- to medium-sized CBD businesses open a merchant account without monthly fees, fluctuating pricing, or require an offshore account. We recommend Square right now. This is a subject that changes frequently.

If the CBD oil is extracted from cannabis, it’s not possible to make Google Ads for CBD products. If it is derived from hemp, you can. To reap the health benefits of CBD, you need to be careful.

Onerous rules aside, CBD products can now be advertised on Instagram and Facebook as of 2021. They can only be hemp-based topical products. This means you cannot advertise CBD products on Instagram or Facebook. It doesn’t contain any ingestibles, which means that anything you eat is not included.

This means that CBD cannot be mentioned on your landing pages, ads, copywriting, or even your ecommerce page. This is something you can do. For example, create landing pages for CBD topical products and link all of your Facebook/Instagram campaigns back to them.

You can also make all things about your brand. You don’t mention CBD, even though it’s your business and the products you sell. People should have fun, feel good, enjoy life, and so on. This is one instance where social media can be used to “provide value” rather than “sell”. You have very few options.

If you do the above wrongly, your advertising (or business) could be removed from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Although it is unlikely that the FDA will pursue your company, as they tend to target those who overpromise about CBD’s benefits, these platforms allow CBD marketing in very limited ways.

It will get easier as these rules change. This article may soon be outdated, but with luck. These are just a few ways you can grow and sustain your CBD-based business.

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