Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed cannabidiol, also known as CBD, from schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act in 2018, there has been a significant increase in CBD eCommerce in the United States.
Studies suggest that the CBD industry will see a sustained compound growth rate of 55% over the next few years, with the market set to reach a whopping $2.1 billion by 2030.
However, since CBD products are highly-regulated, it’s not easy to sell them online, and you need to adhere to a special set of rules and regulations.
WooCommerce is an ideal eCommerce platform for CBD sellers. However, even though you can sell CBD products with WooCommerce, Automattic — the parent company of WooCommerce, Jetpack, etc. — only supports the sale of CBD-related products under specific conditions.
You cannot use payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal to accept payments. This means that “WooCommerce Payments” prohibits CBD too.
Therefore, the real challenge lies in finding the right payment provider. Fortunately, there are several third-party payment merchants and even plugins that you can use to sell CBD products with WooCommerce.
In this article, we’ll talk about seven different payment solutions that permit the sale of CBD-related products with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce limitations with selling CBD products
Before getting into the payment solutions, let’s understand WooCommerce limitations with selling CBD products.
WooCommerce is an open-source software and hence allows selling CBD products online. However, here are some considerations you need to be aware of:
- Automattic: You cannot use Automattic services to sell CBD products online, e.g. Jetpack, WooCommerce Payments, WooCommerce Shipping and other premium services.
- WordPress.com: WordPress.com is an Automattic hosted solution – which again doesn’t support selling CBD products with WooCommerce.
- WordPress.org: WordPress.org is a self-hosted solution, unlike WordPress.com – making it possible to sell CBD products with WooCommerce.
Bottom line: if you want to sell CBD products with WooCommerce, make sure you pick WordPress.org and not WordPress.com – and then choose a suitable payment solution.
Now, let’s look into these payment gateways that allow you to sell CBD products on WooCommerce.
Payment providers and plugins to choose to sell CBD products with WooCommerce
Square for WooCommerce
Square is a widely popular and easily configurable payment solution with a legal agreement with WooCommerce – allowing safe transactions of CBD-related “high-risk” products.
You can synchronize your sales, inventory, items, and customer data and manage multiple channels from a centralized hub – with a common payment solution across every channel.
It provides a flat fee for each transaction and allows you to accept payments online and in-person (with Square for retail or Square Point of Sale) – so you don’t miss even a single sale. In addition, there are no surprises or hidden fees, and you only pay when you make a sale – with processing rates of:
- Online: 3.8% + 30 cents per transaction
- In-person: 3.5% + 10 cents per transaction
- Keyed-in credit card (manually entered transaction): 4.4% + 15 cents per transaction
One of the remarkable features of this plugin is that it also offers custom pricing packages for CBD businesses – depending on factors like payment transaction size and average volume.
However, WooCommerce Square is currently only available in the U.S., Canada, UK, Spain, France, Ireland, Japan, and Australia. So, if your CBD store is based in other countries – you may want to check out other payment gateways.
Top feature: Square provides excellent customer authentication and fraud protection features to secure payment transactions. Moreover, it also offers PCI-DSS compliant payment processing and end-to-end encryption with no security fees.
Organic Payment Gateways
Organic Payment Gateways is a payment provider that makes accepting credit card payments with WooCommerce for CBD a breeze. It’s especially beneficial for beginners and small CBD merchants.
With their plugins, you can sell CBD oil, hemp oil, CBD skin care products, and CBD beauty products. What’s more, in case you offer additional products than the ones mentioned – you simply need to get in touch with their team, and they’ll help you find solutions to accept payments for all your products.
To get started with this payment provider, you need to fill out a quick form – after which you’ll receive an email and the requirements to start accepting credit card payments for CBD products with WooCommerce.
Top feature: It’s a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating. It helps you accept credit cards for complicated CBD vaporizers and oil to safely and securely lower-risk CBD skin care products.
Pricing: Like most high-risk payment providers, they don’t disclose their pricing upfront.
WooCommerce B2B Sales Agents
Since paid advertising on major platforms like Facebook is restricted, a lot of CBD stores rely on building out a network of sales reps, word of mouth, and distribution partners. This is where WooCommerce B2B Sales Agents plugin comes in, it empowers store owners to convert customers into promoters. Who then, refers others to your store creating brand awareness and sales without spending a penny on marketing.
With this plugin, you can allow reps to create orders on behalf of customers, specify how you’d like the commission to be attributed to each sale. Monitor your sales agent’s performance from one centralized location. Identify top performers and reward them accordingly, and take the learnings to share it with your lower earning reps.
Top feature: customizable commission structure of each sales rep, track top-performing partners, track sales attribution, allow reps to create a custom referral link.
Pricing: $7/month for a Basic subscription, $12/month for a Professional subscription, and $29/month for the All-Access subscription.
PayKings is an excellent choice for high-risk merchants and providers – especially for new and established CBD and cannabis-related businesses.
If your business faces too many chargebacks or has high risks of fraud – PayKings is a solid and secure eCommerce-ready solution that lets you choose between NMI and Authorize.net for their payment gateway solutions.
It has a direct network with 20+ banks and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to provide the necessary connections you require to run your WooCommerce store and accept payments. It basically shares your merchant account details and your customer’s bank account to connect the two parties at the checkout using an online interface.
To accept payments, PayKings requires you to create a “CBD Merchant Account,” and the fees vary depending on your business, company history, and sales volume.
Besides these features – it works with many Point of Sales (POS) systems, offers multi-currency options, requires no application or setup fees, and is PCI compliant.
Top feature: It offers integrated fraud solutions, help with instant approval for payment processing with the banks, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment processing.
Pricing: Offers tiered pricing but doesn’t disclose it upfront.
Easy Pay Direct
Easy Pay Direct (EPD) has a ton of experience with CBD retailers and online sellers – making it extremely feasible to accept topical and ingestible CBD product-related payments on your WooCommerce store.
You can accept payments on your online store, in-person store, or on your mobile device. It takes 7-14 business days to approve your account.
It’s important to note that EPD isn’t a direct processor. Instead, it offers merchant accounts in partnership with numerous domestic and international payment processors and acquiring banks. Moreover, it’s also connected with 38 offshore banks to provide merchant accounts to those located overseas.
Its EPD payment gateway is a feature-packed product that provides top-notch Level 1 PCI compliant security and lets you accept payments via debit cards, credit cards, online payments, and eCheck (ACH) payments. In addition, it also provides the Clover Point of Sales (POS) systems in partnership with Fiserv.
Moreover, you can contact and count on their Certified Payments Specialists and New Clients Specialists whenever needed – and its BBB record is a promising indicator.
Top feature: One of their notable features includes load balancing – where you get multiple merchant accounts to balance your transactions across various accounts. You need to specify what percentage of sales go to each account.
This feature automatically directs payments to a different account if your merchant account has a payment on hold – reducing fraudulent transactions and maintaining your account for the long run.
Pricing: $29.99/month, starting at $2.50% + $0.25 per transaction. You also need to pay a $99 account setup fee.
SMB Global is one of the most credible high-risk merchant payment providers. It claims to partner with 15 different domestic and offshore banks for efficient payment processing.
Besides offering chargeback protection, access to a payment gateway, and multiple merchant account management – it also includes unique features like data reporting and analytics and small business loans.
It’s a relatively new payment provider than other providers and doesn’t have much track record. However, it’s a respectable provider and offers excellent customer service.
Top feature: Dynamic currency conversion, eCheck processing, and ACH payment processing.
Pricing: Varies depending on your business size, length of time in business, and processing history.
WordPress – High-Risk Payment Gateway for WooCommerce
This WordPress plugin lets you add CardPay Solutions as a payment option to your WooCommerce CBD store – making accepting credit card payments easy. In addition, it makes it easy to accept payments from major credit cards like American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and JCB.
This simple plugin with minimal features accepts WooCommerce stores falling in the high-risk categories like CBD, Tobacco Products, and Supplements & Nutraceuticals.
It securely stores your customer’s credit card details to their profiles – allowing them to re-use the details to speed up their checkout process.
Top feature: It supports WooCommerce Pre-orders, WooCommerce Subscriptions, and both “Authorize & Capture” and “Authorize Only” transaction types.
WordPress – Cryptocurrency Payment Gateway for WooCommerce
This unique plugin lets you diversify your revenue and accept payment via cryptocurrency from customers for your CBD products.
It’s easy to use and set up and makes it convenient to accept bitcoin payments securely. Unlike other plugins, one of the best features of this plugin is that the crypto payments don’t come with any platform or commission fees.
However, when you want to withdraw payment from your bank account as local currency – you’ll have to pay a single 0.8% commission fee.
Moreover, it also sends an email notification after every transaction. You can receive crypto payments in multiple currencies – including the U.S. dollar, Euro, Singapore dollar, Canadian dollar, and Japanese Yen.
Top feature: It provides real-time exchange rates when converting crypto to local currency and receives the expected amount with zero impact on volatility.
Selling CBD products online is highly profitable due to the fast-growing market and increased consumer demand. The only difficulty you face is collecting payments, meaning you need to find the right payment provider.
The payment providers mentioned in this article are the most viable and secure options to collect payments for CBD products from consumers via credit cards, debit cards, and even cryptocurrency. So, check out these solutions and choose an ideal payment solution that best meets your budget and requirements.
5 thoughts on “WooCommerce: How to Sell CBD Products”
I want to set up subscriptions on my client’s CBD store but we are currently using Square for payment processing. I was under the impression I couldn’t use WooCommerce Subscriptions for CBD products or with Square. Is my only option the High Risk Payment Gateway for Cardplay? You mention it works with WooCommerce Subscriptions, is that really allowed? What do you recommend for CBD product Subscriptions?
Sorry for the delay Fran. To be honest, I have no experience with CBD and subscriptions – the best would be to ask the payment providers if they allow recurring payments. If that’s the case, any Subscriptions plugin should work, as long as the provider allows for it. Hope this helps!
Happy to hear you got value out of this!
Great article, David! It is exactly the info that I needed, but I have a question about what you meant in this sentence… “Bottom line: if you want to sell CBD products with WooCommerce, make sure you pick WordPress.org and not WordPress.com – and then choose a suitable payment solution.” I have had a Woocommerce store for many years and don’t remember or even know whether its from the .org site or .com site. I’m with Siteground hosting and I think I got it via their service. But anyways, I sell natural handcrafted skincare products in my Woo store for over 15 years now and would like to add a CBD cream to my inventory. If I do, I am assuming I will have to switch all my sales to a different payment provider (I currently use Paypal only) so I am wondering how do I know whether I picked wordpress.org or wordpress.com?
Glad to hear it.
WordPress.com is a hosting service with a premium WP experience bundled in. You are using WordPress.org if you went with Siteground hosting.
You will indeed likely have to switch payment providers. Fortunately, that’s exactly what this list is for!