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Etsy—the popular US-based online marketplace for artisans selling crafted goods—seems perfect for connecting to new customers. After all, the eCommerce company prides itself on its handmade and high-quality products. However, due to federal regulations, platforms such as Etsy face challenges in supporting high-risk industries like CBD. Below, we answer whether Etsy permits the sale of CBD on its platform, examine the potential reasons behind its policies, and list suitable solutions for selling CBD online.
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids (plant compounds) derived from the hemp plant. CBD products are praised for helping with all sorts of ailments such as pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and mental disorders. Additionally, CBD comes in many forms, including edibles, beverages, liquid tinctures, and topicals. Yet many experts, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), say more research is needed before concluding anything.
Despite the 2018 Farm Bill removing CBD from the FDA’s list of controlled substances, there is still ongoing confusion about the legality of sales and consumption of CBD. And because CBD laws vary by state, businesses, farmers, processors, distributors, retailers, and the banking institutions that support them are left uncertain about how to proceed.
Can You Sell CBD Products on Etsy?
In one word: No. You cannot sell CBD products on Etsy. The platform has strict policies regarding substances not approved by the FDA. Etsy’s policies state they have the right to remove any listing violating federal laws, thus, prohibiting the sale of any products containing cannabinoids.
Sellers are allowed to list hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and topicals. However, these exceptions only apply to products that are derived from hemp, and not from marijuana, which is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government. (Further below, we explore possible ways to navigate these stringent rules.)
What Is Etsy’s Policy on Selling CBD?
If you violate Etsy’s rules, you risk having your product listings flagged and taken down. Afterward, your account could be up for suspension or even termination. Below are a few of Etsy’s prohibited items:
- Tobacco products
- Vapes or vaporizers
- Medication or pharmaceuticals of any kind
- Recreational drugs and herbal products (including CBD)
- Regulated medical devices
- Drug accessories and paraphernalia
- Hazardous products
- Recalled items
- Products claiming to cure or treat a condition or illness
Why does Etsy prohibit CBD sales?
The sale of CBD products has been debated for some time, as CBD is a high-risk industry and its legal status is ambiguous. One of the main reasons Etsy prohibits the sale of CBD products is that products containing CBD are not yet FDA-approved. Thus far, CBD has not received FDA approval as an over-the-counter medication or dietary supplement. Without FDA approval, there is no established set of regulations for the production, distribution, and sale of CBD products, so Etsy continues to prohibit the sale of CBD products. By doing so, they can maintain their reputation as a reliable platform and avoid any potential legal issues that may arise from allowing the sale of unregulated products.
What happens if you attempt to sell CBD on Etsy?
When it comes to cannabis and CBD, Etsy’s stance is clear. Etsy is committed to ensuring that all products sold on its platform are 100% legal and are sold by reliable sellers. To maintain this standard, Etsy reserves the right to remove any listing that does not meet its criteria at any time. If a seller is found posting CBD products for sale, Etsy administration will take swift action in removing prohibited items. In addition, CBD merchants risk losing their non-refundable Etsy seller fees and even their account.
What Other Ways Can You Sell CBD Products Online?
When it comes to selling CBD products online, finding the right platform can be challenging. And Etsy’s decision to prohibit the sale of CBD products leaves many CBD retailers searching for alternative solutions. One solution for CBD merchants is to partner with a high-risk merchant services provider and utilize a CBD-friendly website builder like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce. In doing so, you’ll obtain a merchant account specifically designed for businesses that operate in high-risk industries, like CBD. By using a CBD merchant account, merchants can process credit card transactions securely and reliably, without fear of termination!