CBD Online Stores: Shopify Out and WooCommerce In!

Selling CBD Products with WooCommerceShopify has notified CBD related store owners who use their service that if their stores are found to be selling items that are high-risk, Shopify will close them.

Due to the complicated legalities and disparate state and county regulations inherent with CBD related products, all CBD related products sold online are considered high-risk.

So, what will Shopify do if you have a CBD related store?  Your store will be closed.

How can Shopify do this?  Shopify partnered with a payment processor that has strong ties to national banks.  Because federal banks won’t work with CBD related products, the processor Shopify uses won’t work with them, which means Shopify, in turn, cannot work with CBD products either.

Additionally, Shopify is a closed system; you must use their default processor or get charged an extra 1-3% in order to use the third-party processors Shopify works with.  However, if these processors find an issue during their underwriting vetting they may add your company to the TFM (Terminated Merchant Account) list, which is a public record of invalid accounts.

If you have a website on Shopify, and if you have high-risk CBD items for sale, you don’t have a lot of choices if you want to protect, sustain and grow your business…if you stay with Shopify.

What choices do you have?  Many!  The first step is to back up your ecommerce files. The second step is to move to another ecommerce software ASAP.  Choosing an open source solution like WordPress with WooCommerce shopping cart software is our recommended solution.  With an open source environment, you can choose from a variety of payment gateways that specialize in high-risk product sales. You can also have the freedom to host the site wherever you choose.

Zodaka is an example of a payment gateway that is willing to take the risk with online CBD retailers.    Carson O’Connell of Zodaka explains how their product works:

“Zodaka does not utilize credit cards at any point in our process. Users sign up by connecting their bank account to our system, then our software prompts a direct payment from the user’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account. Our system uses a streamlined version of a transfer solution, which is regulated exactly like cash.”

Zodaka is similar to PayPal, but Zodaka does not require reserves, even though the CBD industry is high-risk by nature, unlike most comparable solutions. And unlike most other processors that offer high-risk services, Zodaka is not located overseas.   O’Connell explains this point and other benefits:

“We are entirely domestic and your money never leaves the U.S. during a Zodaka transaction, which is something that most of our competitors (and anyone offering a high-risk credit card solution) cannot say. We charge fair rates (between 3% and 5%) for our services while many high-risk payment systems can charge as high as 10% or more. We also have virtually no chargebacks, and maintain a highly secure system with bank-level encryption/cybersecurity.”

If you want to grow your online CBD retail business, make a move to protect your store and ensure your revenue stream.  Our team at Behla Design can help move your store from Shopify to Word Press with WooCommerce and help find the best payment gateway to meet your needs.

Keep your online store doors open before Shopify closes them.  Support your business and be pro-active. Contact us today.

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