Did you know that the CBD product market is projected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2024? Twenty BILLION!
It’s certainly a hot market and if you’re an eCommerce retailer selling CBD products, then this is the post for you. (Don’t worry — you can still take away some solid info about shipping regulated products, even if you don’t sell CBD!).
While CBD is obviously growing fast in popularity, eCommerce sellers may still be struggling with the best way to ship these products while following all relevant regulations across state and country lines. ShipperHQ is here to help you sharpen your CBD shipping strategy and give you some guidance on how you can grow your business along with the booming market.
What Exactly Am I Allowed to Ship?
Let’s jump right in with the basics. CBD (aka cannabidiol) is derived from the cannabis plant but is typically sold without or with low amounts of THC (aka tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive element part of the cannabis plant).
CBD can be extracted and formulated in a multitude of ways, but for selling and shipping purposes, it must be derived from the hemp plant specifically. Additionally, it is federally legal to ship CBD extracts within the United States as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC within the product.
Factors to Consider When Shipping CBD
Many eCommerce merchants face similar challenges when it comes to shipping CBD products. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when setting up your shipping process:
Remember how we said above that it is federally legal to sell CBD in the US, with specific regulations? Well — like everything else in life — there are exceptions to this rule. Those rules fall into the hands of the states, who get to determine their own laws when it comes to CBD shipping.
We’re not going to get into the weeds here (pun absolutely intended), but it’s important to understand how specific each state law can be when it comes to CBD shipping. For example, some states may have the same rule for THC levels as the federal law while other states may not allow CBD products with any THC levels.
So, it’s absolutely imperative to actively (and continually) check every state’s main government website when determining their specific regulations for selling and shipping CBD products. We are always here to support you when it comes to your shipping needs, but please remember to seek out legal counsel if you have any law-related questions! (We’re good, but we aren’t “legal advice” good).
This is another big one to confirm before shipping any CBD products internationally. Some countries specify the maximum amount of THC allowed in CBD items while others have a strict ban on anything cannabis-related coming into their country. Be sure to check with your international carriers to determine their specific regulations or the country’s main governmental website for more info!
So, who actually accepts CBD shipments? Most of the major carriers will ship CBD products, but each carrier has their own rules and regulations. Here are just a few examples:
- UPS: UPS will not ship a product if it has been made at the same facility that also has marijuana-derived products.
- FedEx: FedEx only recently allowed CBD shipping, but now allows shipments of hemp-derived CBD only (no marijuana-derived products!). They also ban the shipment of any “raw or unrefined hemp plants”.
- USPS: Along with the federal and state law regulations, the USPS requires that the mailer “retains records establishing compliance with such laws and plans, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 3 years after the date of mailing”.
Some carriers may also require lab tests to be presented or available before shipping. Be sure to check each of your carriers’ requirements carefully so you know exactly what you need to do to remain compliant! Especially since the guidelines are constantly changing when new laws come into play.
A quick tip: You may also consider using a third-party logistics provider to help manage the CBD storage, packaging, shipping, and delivery of your products. Feel free to reach out to us for recommendations!
How ShipperHQ Can Help You Stay Compliant and Scale Your Business
Once you’ve determined your shipping requirements and ensured you’re following all applicable laws, ShipperHQ can help you make your delivery operation that much easier. Here are some of the strategies that can help you remain compliant as you scale your CBD business!
1. Define Delivery Zones
With ShipperHQ, you can define specific delivery zones to allow or restrict shipping to certain areas. For example, let’s say you are restricted from shipping one of your products to Arizona. Within ShipperHQ, you can set up a shipping rule where the system automatically eliminates Arizona as a delivery option.
2. Set Up Shipping Groups
Creating shipping groups will allow you to apply specific rules to certain groups of products. For example, if you sell a number of products that cannot ship via air travel, then you can flag those products to prevent that particular carrier option from showing up in the customer’s checkout.
3. Utilize Dimensional Packing
Dimensional Packing can take into consideration aspects like padding and tolerance within the boxes. For example, if your products need to be stored in fragile packaging, then this tool can take into consideration the exact padding needs for that shipment. This helps to get a more precise shipping quote at checkout so that you (the merchant) are not stuck with additional charges.
As they were growing their business and creating new products with more complex regulations, they knew they needed a shipping partner to help strategize and streamline their operation.
With ShipperHQ, they were able to quickly and confidently set up shipping rules and groups to exclude specific states from the shipment of restricted products — all while saving their development team over 10 hours in coding time! Check out more of their story and how ShipperHQ’s features helped keep their product launch on track and compliant over here! (coming soon)
Are you ready to up your CBD shipping game? Try out ShipperHQ free for 15 days and grow your business with confidence!
This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice.