Scope of Guidance↑ Back to top
If you’re only using the open-source WooCommerce software (the free core Plugin), these guidelines don’t apply to you. Because WooCommerce is open-source software, we don’t limit its use unless your site is hosted at WordPress.com or on Pressable.
These guidelines apply to store owners who’d like to sell cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp-derived products on a site hosted at WordPress.com or on Pressable.
Products covered↑ Back to top
These guidelines apply to WordPress.com and Pressable-hosted stores selling any CBD and other hemp-derived products, except hemp-derived clothing.
For selling clothing made from hemp, there is no restriction on which Automattic services you can use. Of course, if you sell other hemp-derived or CBD products in addition to hemp clothing, the restrictions in this policy still likely apply to you.
Required payment provider↑ Back to top
If you’d like to sell CBD and/or hemp products while we host your WooCommerce store at WordPress.com or on Pressable, we require you to use one of our two specified payment gateway solutions: Square or Viva Wallet.
Selling CBD in the U.S. – Square has a program that reviews and approves stores selling CBD and hemp-derived products according to applicable U.S. laws and regulations. Sell CBD products with Square.
Square’s program is currently only available in the United States. If you’re operating a store outside the U.S., you’re still welcome to use the open-source WooCommerce software, but we cannot host your website at WordPress.com or on Pressable.
Selling CBD in the EU – If you are in the EU and you’d like to host your WooCommerce CBD or hemp products store on WordPress.com or on Pressable, we require you to use Viva Wallet as a payment provider. Viva Wallet has a program that reviews and approves stores selling CBD and hemp-derived products according to applicable laws and regulations. Currently Viva Wallet runs this program for shops based in Greece, Portugal, Italy, France and Poland.
It is not possible to use WooCommerce Payments service to sell CBD and hemp-derived products.
Find out more at WooCommerce and Highly Regulated Products about selling CBD and other hemp-derived products with a different payment provider, including if your store is outside the US.
Hosting↑ Back to top
You can host your WooCommerce store with any hosting provider that allows CBD sales, including WordPress.com or Pressable if you are using Square or Viva Wallet to process payments, as outlined above. CBD sites can be hosted on WordPress.com or Pressable if you’re using Square or Viva Wallet to process payments, as outlined above. If you are not hosting your store on WordPress.com or Pressable, it’s a good idea to contact hosting companies in advance of building your store to ask about their current CBD sales policy before signing up.
Complying with laws and regulations↑ Back to top
These guidelines are not intended as legal advice. The laws and regulations on CBD and other hemp-derived products are complex and can vary in each state and country. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice in the state or country you’re selling from, as well as the one(s) you’re selling to before setting up a shop to sell CBD and/or hemp-derived products.
As the store owner, it’s your responsibility to understand and follow the laws and regulations that apply.
U.S. federal law↑ Back to top
U.S. federal law qualifies cannabis-derived products with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of less than 0.3% as legal hemp. The legal hemp industry is highly regulated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a number of federal regulations for hemp-derived products, including CBD. The FDA regulates food, drugs, and cosmetics, and a failure to abide by these regulations can carry criminal and civil penalties, so they’re important to understand before opening a store. For example, the FDA prohibits CBD in foods, beverages, and supplements, and it requires all hemp-derived products to be labeled properly. The FDA also prohibits therapeutic claims about the benefits of CBD on the mind or body, because CBD is not an FDA-approved drug.
Local laws within the United States↑ Back to top
City and state laws may be more or less strict than federal laws. Be sure that your products are legal to sell in both the location of your store and of your customers.
EU Law↑ Back to top
In the EU, the laws governing the allowable amount of THC content in CBD products are set by the individual member states. Store owners operating within the EU are responsible for knowing and following local law: your products should not exceed the THC levels your country deems legal, and you should not sell product types that are disallowed under your country’s laws.
Shipping↑ Back to top
All international shipping services have their own rules about shipping CBD. Check with your shipping provider before mailing CBD or other hemp-derived products.
Taxes↑ Back to top
As the store owner, it’s your responsibility to understand and follow the federal and local laws and regulations that apply to filing taxes and charging taxes for CBD sales.
Termination↑ Back to top
If we determine, in our sole discretion, that your store violates applicable laws or our WooCommerce Use Terms, we may terminate your access to our store-hosting services or decline to provide support to your store.
FAQs↑ Back to top
Why are there CBD-related restrictions for hosting my store on WordPress.com or Pressable?↑ Back to top
WordPress.com and Pressable are run by Automattic, which is a U.S. company. While many store owners and customers reside in countries where CBD is fully legalized, we at Automattic are subject to U.S. laws, which place restrictions on our ability to assist with CBD and hemp-derived product sales.
What steps do I need to take to open a WooCommerce store for CBD or other hemp-derived products?↑ Back to top
- Find a hosting company for your WooCommerce store website that allows CBD and other hemp-derived products. For example, CBD sites can be hosted on WordPress.com or Pressable as long as you’re using Square or Viva Wallet to process payments.
- Find a payment provider that allows the sale of hemp-derived products. If you are hosting your store on WordPress.com or Pressable, Square or Viva Wallet should be able to take care of payment processing for you.
- Check with your bank to confirm you can accept deposits from your payment provider for the sale of CBD and hemp-derived products.
- Check with your shipping provider to make sure they are willing to ship CBD or other hemp-derived products. For example, you may need to fill out an additional form at the post office.
I thought the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD and hemp-derived products in the US. Why are there still restrictions on them?↑ Back to top
The 2018 Farm Bill took hemp with THC content < 0.3% off the list of illegal controlled substances, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still imposes strict rules and regulations regarding hemp-derived products. Those rules and regulations can carry civil and criminal penalties.
I live outside the U.S. and CBD is fully legal here. Can I use WordPress.com or Pressable to host my store?↑ Back to top
It depends. For those in certain European countries (Greece, Portugal, Italy, France, and Poland), we can host your CBD store at WordPress.com or Pressable if you use Viva Wallet to process payments
Of course, even if you are able to use WordPress.com or Pressable to host your CBD products store, you need to understand and stay abreast of all the rules and laws that apply where you are located and where you sell.
Why am I required to use Square or Viva Wallet as my payment provider if I host my CBD store on WordPress.com or Pressable?↑ Back to top
Square and Viva Wallet have a vetting process for stores selling CBD and other hemp-derived products, so we currently require that you use one of these two as a payment provider if you’d like to host your site on WordPress.com or Pressable. We may approve additional payment providers in the future.
Do I need to go through the payment processor’s application process to sell CBD or other hemp-derived products?↑ Back to top
Yes. If your payment gateway discovers that you’re selling CBD or other hemp-derived products without approval, their policy is to discontinue services.
What if I’m approved by the payment gateway but later declined?↑ Back to top
We require you to be approved by either Square or Viva Wallet if you’d like to use WordPress.com or Pressable as your host to sell CBD products.
What if I don’t want to use one of your approved payment gateway partners for CBD sales?↑ Back to top
No problem. You can still use the open-source WooCommerce software to power a store that sells CBD or other hemp-derived products and use some other payment processor. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot host your CBD products store at WordPress.com or Pressable unless you are processing payments through either Square or Viva Wallet.
Will the payment processor approve my site immediately?↑ Back to top
Each company requires time to vet new sites before approving them to sell CBD and other hemp-derived products, due to heavy regulation of the hemp industry.
Will my bank accept payment from Square or Viva Wallet for CBD and other hemp-derived products?↑ Back to top
Good question. You should speak to your bank directly about this because each bank’s policy could differ. Having a bank account is essential. Once you’re approved by the payment processor, you’ll need a bank account to receive the funds from the payment processor.
Can I use services provided by Automattic, other than WordPress.com or Pressable, to sell CBD?↑ Back to top
For the most part, yes. Automattic services like Jetpack, the WooCommerce Mobile App, WooCommerce Shipping, and WooCommerce Tax can all be used by stores selling CBD and hemp-derived products, even if you are not hosting the store on WordPress.com or Pressable. However, at present, it is not possible to use WooCommerce Payments service to sell CBD and hemp-derived products.
If I print my shipping labels using WooCommerce Shipping, am I automatically approved to ship CBD and other hemp-derived products?↑ Back to top
Not necessarily. You may need to fill out a specific form with the U.S. Post Office (or other shipping providers) when dropping off your package. It’s your responsibility to know and follow applicable laws and regulations on shipping CBD products in your area.
What hosting providers can I use for my CBD store?↑ Back to top
CBD sites can be hosted on WordPress.com or Pressable if you’re using Square or Viva Wallet to process payments. We don’t have other specific hosting providers to recommend at this time because each hosting company has its own policies on CBD and hemp-derived products that may be in flux. We recommend asking your hosting provider ahead of time about CBD and hemp-derived product sales before you start to host your store there.
Where can I find more information on Square’s CBD payment processing solution for WooCommerce?↑ Back to top
Learn more about Square’s CBD solution here
Where can I find more information on Viva Wallet’s CBD solution?↑ Back to top
Please reach out to Viva Wallet directly for more information on their services.
Questions and Support↑ Back to top
Something missing from this documentation? Do you still have questions and need assistance?
- Have a question before you buy this extension? Please fill out this pre-sales form – please include the name of this extension in your query.
- Already purchased and need some assistance? Get in touch with a Happiness Engineer via the WooCommerce.com Support page and choose this extension name from the “I need help with” dropdown