These days, eCommerce has become far more popular than shopping in brick and mortar stores. With an estimated $1.915 trillion spent online last year it’s important to have an online store. If that’s not enough to convince you, projections are estimated to at least double within the next 3 years.
And with medical marijuana now legal in a few states, cannabis products are quite popular. But selling cannabis products can be a tricky situation. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself in some murky legal territory.
Accordingly, you’ll need to know what you can and can’t do online. Here are some things that every eCommerce owner needs to know.
Legal Boundaries Cannabis eCommerce Sites Need to Know
eCommerce Law is Largely Similar to Commerce Law
The first thing you’ll need to know before setting up shop is that eCommerce isn’t as different as you may think. While the internet opens up all sorts of potential avenues, the law isn’t quite as fast as many would like.
In fact, quite the opposite.
Accordingly, many of the eCommerce laws are in accordance with traditional commerce laws. That means that you can’t sell anything online that you wouldn’t be able to sell in a traditional store.
For instance, in the United States, you can’t purchase alcoholic beverages until the age of 21. Thus, you’d need to be 21 to buy alcohol online, too.
What You Can Sell
You’re likely here to discover what you can sell online in a legal fashion. Since eCommerce laws have to follow commerce laws, you’re not allowed to sell cannabis.
Instead, you’re allowed to sell anything you’d see at a gas station, smoke shop, or similar store. This includes pipes, grinders, CBD dabs and more.
But online sales go far beyond your standard receptacles. You can even sell grow lights, hydroponics, and other equipment used to grow cannabis.
Restrictions essentially stop just short of selling the cannabis and seeds itself. You can even purchase plenty of CBD oils online and ship them nationwide.
What You Can’t Sell
As mentioned, you can’t simply exchange cannabis for money online. But there have been cases of individuals ordering cannabis seeds from other countries and shipping seeds to the U.S.
If you’re looking to sell your products nationwide, you’ll need national licensing. Once you have your license, you’ll need to do a bit of research and due diligence.
To sell cannabis in most states, purchasers must prove they have a license to obtain cannabis in a legal way. Don’t just accept any doctor’s note, either. Failure to follow federal regulations could result in fines and possible jail time.
This is in addition to a valid state identification card. While the burden of proof is on your customers, it’s up to you to keep them honest.
Be sure to check your state laws to make sure you’re in compliance.
Remember, selling cannabis products online other than simple edibles and accessories is tricky. Always make sure you’re complying with federal law, and get as much proof from your customers as you can.
There’s a ton of money to be made from online eCommerce stores, so make sure your site is ready!