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How Do I Start and Operate a Successful Online CBD Store?

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Many people are looking to start businesses to supplement their salary and obtain financial freedom. One of the viable business ideas is an online CBD store.

As with most internet-based businesses, an online CBD store doesn’t have many obstacles to start and is relatively easy to operate.

But what makes CBD a particularly viable business idea is that the demand for CBD is just crazy. Manufacturers are infusing CBD with everything because that’s what people want.

The CBD Craze

Human beings have been consuming hemp products since the dawn of time, but it was in 2018 when the government legalized the extraction and sale of hemp-derived CBD [1].

And since then, the demand for CBD products has been on an upward trajectory. Observers have estimated that the CBD industry will be worth more than $200 billion in a few years.

The one thing that’s fuelling the rising demand for CBD is the scientific reports coming out. According to studies, cannabidiol has numerous therapeutic benefits.

Although research on CBD is still young, according to anecdotal evidence, many users find CBD to be more effective than traditional medicine in managing issues like pain and anxiety.

How to Start Your Online CBD Dispensary

With an online CBD business, you stock up on varied CBD products and then look for buyers. Some of the common CBD products include tinctures, cartridges, topicals, flower, edibles, concentrates, and capsules.

The demand for CBD products is there, but there’s also a sea of green businesses that you’re going to compete with. Finding success is a matter of having quality products and striving to differentiate your brand.

The following steps are critical in setting up and running your CBD business:

Step 1: Decide What You Want to Sell

Some people want to sell a range of CBD products, while others want to stick to just one CBD product. For beginners, it’s recommended to focus on a single or few products, and then widen your product range as your business grows.

If you’re targeting a particular demographic, make sure to do your research to find out what product they like. Deciding on what to start with and whom to target can make or break your business. The importance of doing thorough research cannot be gainsaid.

Step 2: Draft a Market Domination Business Plan

If you go to look for advice on CBD business groups on Facebook, you might run into a defeated entrepreneur that will yell, “Give up! The CBD market is over-saturated!”

But here’s the thing, there’s enough space for every CBD business to shine, as long as you know what you’re doing. It starts with a business plan.

Analyze the market, pick an excellent business name, decide on the funds you need to get started and work out your operation costs and marketing budget.

For online CBD stores, success very much hinges on marketing. And so, ensure that you have quality marketing strategies and a sizeable marketing budget.

Step 3: Know Your Supplier

You need to find a manufacturer that provides quality products at fair prices. If you’re a total newbie, it can be difficult to find a reliable supplier. But it helps to connect with established players who can help you find these reliable suppliers.

When evaluating the quality of their products, the two critical things to consider are whether they use premium, natural hemp extracts, quality extraction methods, and whether their products are lab tested.

Additionally, a quality CBD supplier has excellent customer support, and they can attend to your concerns promptly.

Step 4: Set Up Your Online Base

You don’t have to build everything from the ground up. There are numerous resources that you can rely on to build a stable online presence.

e-commerce platform: you need to sign up with a quality e-commerce platform so that your customers will have an outstanding experience while shopping.

Designing: whether you choose Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, you still have the job of designing your store. If you’re not skilled, just hire web specialists to design your online store, write product descriptions, and upload your products.

Payment system: now, internet payment systems like PayPal and Payoneer, and also many banks, aren’t fond of the cannabis industry. And so, you’ll need to find a payment gateway that will handle your CBD transactions.

Shipping: ensure that you have a powerhouse shipping system so that your customers aren’t inconvenienced. You can leverage shipping software to achieve outstanding results.

Step 5: Ensure Your Business Stays Legally Compliant

If you were setting up a mortar and brick CBD dispensary, the licensing procedure can feel overwhelming. But since it’s an online CBD store, you’ll just need regular business licenses.

Your hemp products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. THC is the psychoactive cannabis compound that induces mental highs. If you surpass this limit, you put yourself in a legally vulnerable position, especially if you operate in a state where marijuana is prohibited.

Also, if you break this rule, you put your customers in trouble, especially the customers whose careers can be jeopardized through a failed drug test.

CBD has therapeutic benefits, but the FDA forbids businesses to claim that CBD has medicinal value. Epidiolex is the only CBD product approved by the FDA to be a medicine, and it’s designed for epilepsy patients to manage seizures [2].

And so, if you have a potent CBD product, refrain from marketing it as a substitute for medicine when it comes to managing various health problems.

Step 6: Market Your Company

The thing is, you just can’t set up an online store and expect that you will make millions. There are too many CBD businesses and the competition is crazy.

CBD products are popular [3]. But still, you need to put your business out there, make your brand visible, and once you fish a new customer, the goal is to lock them.

You can try different marketing models including influencer marketing, SEO, content marketing, blogging, and media buying.

The Takeaway: Creating A CBD Business

Starting a CBD business is a viable business idea considering that the demand for CBD is on the up and up. But there are certain things you need to observe so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. You can set up and manage a successful online CBD store through the above steps.


  • Mead, A. (2019). Legal and regulatory issues governing cannabis and cannabis-derived products in the United States. Frontiers in plant science10, 697.
  • Abu-Sawwa, R., & Stehling, C. (2020). Epidiolex (cannabidiol) primer: frequently asked questions for patients and caregivers. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics25(1), 75-77.
  • Wiley, J., Gourdet, C. K., & Thomas, B. F. (2020). Cannabidiol: Science, Marketing, and Legal Perspectives. RTI Press, 16720.