Shopify allowing US merchants to sell CBD products online

Ottawa-based ecommerce giant Shopify is allowing US merchants to sell hemp and hemp-derived CBD products online and in brick-and-mortar locations. The feature is open in areas where selling CBD products is legal.

“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 US,” said Harley Finkelstein, chief operating officer at Shopify. “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.”

Shopify has several retailers on the platform selling CBD products, including skincare and cosmetics companies Cannuka and Josie Maran.

Shopify’s partnerships with payments and shipping providers allow merchants to deliver these hemp-derived CBD products, build marketing campaigns, and use over 2,500 apps. The company has enabled merchants to sell CBD products in Canada since 2018.

Shopify has several retailers on the platform selling CBD products, including skincare and cosmetics companies Cannuka and Josie Maran.

“This is an exciting time for the CBD skincare industry. Consumers are eager to connect with us and try our Skin Dope products. Until recently, we didn’t have a simple solution to manage and sell our CBD oil and hemp seed oil assortment online,” said Roger Wason, director of ecommerce for Josie Maran Cosmetics. “Shopify has helped us focus more on our relationships with our consumers and growing our business.”

This isn’t Shopify’s first foray into cannabis. The company was originally tapped to power both Ontario’s publicly-run online and brick-and-mortar cannabis sales. However, after the change in the provincial government and its cannabis policies, Saskatchewan-based Cova Software ended up powering the majority of private brick-and-mortar POS. Shopify is still powering online sales in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The announcement comes a week after Shopify announced a major acquisition to expand its business. Last week, the company acquired 6 River Systems, which offers warehouse fulfillment solutions, for $450 million USD. 6 River Systems operates in over 20 facilities in the US, Canada, and Europe, fulfilling millions of units each week from companies like Lockheed Martin. It’s a move that makes the company an unexpected threat to Amazon, according to Steve Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“Shopify doesn’t operate its own marketplace, so it has no private label brands, and really is a platform as opposed to a competitor,” Galloway said, whereas Amazon has its own private label brands alongside its third-party marketplace.