TABLE OF CONTENTS
Boasting over 159 million active users in the United States, eBay is one of the most popular online marketplaces.Business of Apps. “eBay Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)“. Accessed on March 3, 2023. And with CBD now federally legal in the United States, you may be wondering if you can access eBay’s share of the consumer market while selling CBD online. Fortunately, we answer that very question below!
Can You Sell CBD on eBay?
Currently, you cannot sell CBD on eBay’s US marketplace due to the high-risk nature of the CBD industry. Likewise, CBD products are banned on eBay worldwide in every marketplace other than the UK. In 2022, eBay began a CBD pilot program in the UK, which allows pre-approved merchants to sell CBD products.BusinessCann. “Ebay’s New CBD Trial Could Have ‘Knock-On Effect’ For Other Ecommerce Platforms“. Accessed on March 3, 2023. The pre-approved merchants must comply with all UK laws for selling CBD products.
Currently, the list of approved companies is very short, meaning it’s likely challenging for non-established, start-up CBD businesses to gain access to the UK market on eBay. The pre-approval process has various requirements—minimum revenue thresholds, business age minimums, and identity verification processes, among others. While this pilot program is limited to the UK, there’s hope it will roll out worldwide, including in the United States.
How eBay Defines Hemp vs CBD
While eBay prohibits the sale of CBD products on its US platform, the company permits the sale of hemp products. The reason for this is CBD often has THC remaining after its extraction from the cannabis plant. While this THC level is low, it makes CBD a controversial product in terms of regulation.
Hemp products, on the other hand, contain almost no CBD. The eBay platform allows hemp products as long as the product doesn’t reference CBD or other drug-related topics.
Many CBD merchants have tried to bypass eBay’s restrictions by listing CBD products as hemp products. However, eBay is effective at banning sellers and removing products that circumvent its current policies.
eBay’s Policy on CBD Sales & Advertisements
Outside of its UK platform, eBay prohibits the sale of CBD products. Though, its UK platform isn’t a free-for-all—only approved CBD brands can sell CBD products. Currently, eBay authorizes certain CBD brands in compliance with the UK’s CBD laws to utilize its platform. In the UK, CBD can legally be sold as long as it meets two requirements: it contains less than 0.2% THC and it is produced from approved industrial hemp in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act.
What CBD products can be sold on eBay?
As discussed, there are no CBD products currently authorized for sale on eBay’s US platform. However, eBay allows the following CBD products on its UK marketplace: capsules, oils, creams, gummies, and sprays. As these allowances are subject to change, check eBay’s policies for the latest information on CBD products currently authorized for sale on its platform.
How to Sell CBD on eBay
Unfortunately, if you operate your business in the United States, you won’t be able to sell CBD products on eBay. Currently, the only way to sell CBD products on eBay is to sell products on its UK marketplace. However, you must also be a certified seller, and eBay has been very strict about who it allows on its list of CBD sellers.
If you attempt to break eBay’s CBD policies, eBay will suspend your account and you will no longer have access to the platform. This may prove costly if eBay opens itself up to CBD sales and you are no longer allowed access to its marketplace.
If you’re interested in selling CBD products online, consider eCommerce alternatives like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce. These platforms allow for integration with high-risk merchant accounts, after which you can process payments for CBD sales.
Why Has eBay Changed Its Stance on CBD Sales?
While eBay has not provided a clear answer as to why it is now allowing CBD sales in the UK, the move appears to be the first step towards allowing CBD sales in other jurisdictions. Particularly in the US, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD products with a THC concentration of 0.3% or less. However, this bill has actually made CBD regulations in the US more complicated. As states now have differing laws regarding CBD, business owners, financial institutions, and other stakeholders can face difficulty even just trying to figure out which legal frameworks they must comply with.
On the other hand, the UK appears to have a more uniform approach to CBD regulation, making compliance easier for eBay. Amazon has a similar approach—allowing CBD sales in the UK but continuing to ban sales in the US and other countries.BusinessCann. “Amazon Enters CBD Retail Market – But Only In One Country“. Accessed on March 3, 2023. However, Amazon is less selective about who can sell CBD through its marketplace in that it doesn’t limit the number of retailers as strictly.
For CBD merchants hoping to sell products in the US, there’s hope the UK pilot program will run smoothly, and eBay will begin permitting US merchants to sell CBD.
Selling CBD on eBay: Closing Remarks
At the time of publication, selling CBD products on eBay’s US platform is prohibited. However, UK-based CBD businesses can apply to be part of eBay’s pilot program. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options available to CBD entrepreneurs in the United States. Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce all integrate with high-risk merchant accounts to process CBD payments. Additionally, high-risk merchant account providers will provide you with a dedicated account manager, who can help you handle any potential legal issues that arise when processing payments for high-risk products like CBD.
- Business of Apps. “eBay Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)“. Accessed on March 3, 2023.
- BusinessCann. “Ebay’s New CBD Trial Could Have ‘Knock-On Effect’ For Other Ecommerce Platforms“. Accessed on March 3, 2023.
- BusinessCann. “Amazon Enters CBD Retail Market – But Only In One Country“. Accessed on March 3, 2023.