It's important for business owners to find the right CBD fulfillment provider so they can provide great customer service. Learn how ShipBob supports ecommerce CBD businesses with fulfillment and inventory management with easy integration, transparent pricing, and more. This article helps sort through the latest requirements for CBD warehouse and fulfillment.
CBD Fulfillment Services – Legality, Shipping, and Fulfillment Options Explained
Cannabidiol (CBD) is beginning to appear in all sorts of products, from snacks to beauty items. What is CBD, why is it so popular lately, and why does it pose a problem for CBD companies looking for a fulfillment center? In this article we help you with some up-to-date information about this fast growing product.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. When people think of cannabis, they usually think of smoking marijuana and the mind-altering properties of THC, another compound found in the plant. CBD, while also present in marijuana, is not psychoactive, so it doesn’t make you feel “high.” For years, CBD has been touted as a source of relief from chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and depression, among other ailments.
CBD is currently available in lots of different forms. In its most pure form, CBD can be ingested in oil or vaped. CBD lotions and creams are applied topically to relieve pain or help heal wounds. And food products or beverages containing CBD (i.e. gummies, coffee, tea, etc.) make it more palatable and accessible to everyone. And CBD is so safe, there are even products marketed towards our pets!
It’s only in recent years that CBD is getting serious attention from the medical community. Lots of research is being done on the effects of this substance, and while science doesn’t have all the answers yet, the CBD industry is currently booming. Many companies see this as a great time to start developing and selling products containing CBD, but there are a few legal issues that they must contend with first.
Is CBD Legal in the US at the Federal Level?
The 2018 Farm Bill contained legislation that removed restrictions on CBD that’s been derived from hemp plants. This means that on a federal level, CBD products are legal to ship and sell as long as the products contain less than .03% THC. Anything with a higher level of THC is considered marijuana, which is still a schedule 1 drug in the United States and is, therefore, illegal to buy, distribute or possess.
Even though CBD is legal to buy under federal law, some states still have restrictions on possession of CBD and products that contain it. In some states, you need a prescription or a card from your doctor in order to legally possess CBD, while in others, it can’t be used legally as a food additive. Still, in other states, it’s classified as a food and it can’t make any claims about medical benefits. Each state has unique rules relating to the possession of CBD, which makes it a sort of legal gray area. This can be a big roadblock for businesses looking to start selling CBD products.
Is CBD Legal in all States of the US?
There are states that tend to be more lenient in terms of CBD sales – thus finding a fulfillment center is a more viable option in these states: Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Alaska, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine. On the opposite end of the spectrum, these states tend to be much more limiting on CBD sales: Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Is CBD Legal in Other Countries?
Many other countries allow for CBD sales, especially under 0.2% THC. Currently, these companies do not all CBD sales: United Arab Emirates, Russia, Malaysia. Some other countries, such as Australia, are very restrictive – so it’s important to check with each company you intend to sell in before initiating any sales effort to ensure compliance with all laws.
Can Companies Ship CBD Products Legally in the US Using Small Parcel Carriers?
Just as the legality of CBD in the US is confusing, the shipping of CBD products via small parcel carrier is also difficult to understand. All US small parcel carriers are able to ship hemp products, but currently only three carriers do: UPS, DHL and USPS. Similar to the previously mentioned legal requirements, shippers must make sure that all hemp products contain less than 0.3% THC levels, shippers must make sure they are compliant with federal and state and local laws, and they are held to another standard: they must keep compliance documents for a two-year period. Furthermore, some carriers require that hemp and CBD products be shipped in cartons that DO NOT show what the contents are of the package.
It’s important to note that this industry is highly regulated and is subject to change at the federal, state and local levels. If your business operates in this industry it is imperative to stay informed regarding all of these changes.
How Can I Find A Fulfillment Center That Can Help My CBD Business?
Even though its legality is somewhat murky, now is a great time to get started in the CBD industry. Ecommerce entrepreneurs involved in selling or shipping these products should keep regulations in mind to make sure that their operation remains fully legal. If you’re looking to ship CBD internationally, you may run into a few issues as it’s still not legal worldwide.
Because of these legal restrictions, a lot of fulfillment centers are wary about fulfilling orders containing CBD. It’s important for business owners to find the right CBD fulfillment provider so they can provide great customer service. FulfillmentComapnies .net is here to help! We have a wide network of warehouses, so we know exactly which ones can help with fulfilling your CBD orders. We can get you in contact with the best fulfillment companies for your CBD products. Fill out the form in the right-hand sidebar of our website to request your matches and get quotes, or contact us for more information.
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CBD Fulfillment by ShipBob
CBD is becoming known as the latest miracle drug, a cure-all for a whole host of maladies, from stress and anxiety to joint inflammation and skin problems. Worth half a billion dollars in 2018, the CBD market is projected to skyrocket to $16 billion in 2025.
It’s no surprise that ecommerce vendors are getting in on the frenzy. Though federally legal, the hazy state-by-state legal status of CBD has made online stores an especially valuable sales channel for CBD users.
Looking to get in on the CBD craze? With a 3PL like ShipBob, you can do so without having to worry about the tedious logistics of retail fulfillment. ShipBob has the infrastructure, technology, and industry expertise to keep fulfillment running smoothly, so you can focus on growing your business.
“Our fulfillment is on autopilot. ShipBob saves us so much effort, and the opportunity cost savings has been substantial. ShipBob’s platform is easy to use and navigate, the interface is intuitive, and the analytics are very clearly laid out. Today, our health and wellness brand sells three CBD products in the United States.”
Yannick Crespo, Co-Founder & President of Pot d’Huile
Fulfill your CBD orders with ShipBob
You probably didn’t get into the CBD business just to spend all your time packing boxes, and ecommerce fulfillment entails so much more than that. You have to organize your warehouse, manage your inventory, and find the best shipping rates for your customers, just to name a few things.
Outsourcing fulfillment takes these burdens off your hands. Furthermore, using multiple ShipBob fulfillment centers can actually lower your shipping costs by reducing the number of shipping zones a package must cross to reach its destination. ShipBob’s technology also automatically searches the top mail carriers to find the best rates.
With ShipBob, your CBD products will get into the hands of your customers faster and cheaper than ever.
ShipBob’s services for CBD sellers
Setting up fulfillment with ShipBob is easy: you simply connect your store to our platform and ship your products to a ShipBob fulfillment center. We handle everything from there: inventory management, picking, packing, shipping, and more.
Renting warehouse space for your inventory is expensive, and then you have to keep your warehouse organized, clean, and secure. With ShipBob none of this is a concern: your products are organized and stored securely in our fulfillment centers.
Warehousing is only part of the challenge; keeping your inventory counts accurate and tracking inventory levels is another difficult aspect of fulfillment. ShipBob’s platform comes with built-in inventory management technology that lets you track inventory counts at each fulfillment center that your products are stored. You can also set reorder points and receive automatic notifications when your inventory levels are low and you can get the right reorder quantity.
Custom, branded packaging
There are no hidden packaging fees with ShipBob: standard materials are included in your ShipBob quote, or you can opt for branded-custom packaging from one of our unboxing partners.
When an order is placed at your store it’s forwarded to our closest fulfillment center to your customer, where our picking and packing teams prepare and ship the order, with tracking info sent to the customer.
ShipBob works with your website
ShipBob connects seamlessly to your ecommerce platform so there’s no need to jump back and forth between apps. Onboarding is simple, and our partner ecosystem covers every area of ecommerce, from packaging to marketing and tax tools.
Is your store hosted on BigCommerce? ShipBob’s software is integrated with BigCommerce’s platform, so you can easily automate order fulfillment with no coding required.
Shopify is the biggest ecommerce platform in the world, and now you can streamline Shopify fulfillment with ShipBob. Offer guaranteed 2-day shipping to your customers and manage your inventory with ease.
Scaling your WooCommerce business with ShipBob is a breeze. Our software integrates easily with WooCommerce’s platform, our technology finds the fastest, cheapest shipping, and you can manage orders and inventory from your ShipBob dashboard.
Happy ShipBob Customers
CBD company Nature’s Ultra experienced a surge in orders in 2018 with the beginning of the CBD boom. The logistics became too much to handle, so they started searching for a 3PL that could scale rapidly and optimize their shipping to provide an Amazon-like experience.
Eventually, they landed on ShipBob, which allowed them to offer 2-Day Express Shipping to 100% of their customers, saw a bump in sales conversions, and went on to achieve 9,900% growth year-over-year.
“With ShipBob, 100% of our orders are going out via 2-day shipping and we can ship to all 50 US states with ease. ShipBob has allowed us to scale up and become successful — we have gone from $70,000 in sales in 2018 to over $7 million in sales.”
Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra
Here are some frequently asked questions about selling CBD online.
Is CBD legal?
Hemp-derived CBD, which is any CBD that contains less than 0.3% THC, was federally legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, state-by-state legality varies, and the FDA still prohibits the inclusion of CBD in food or drink.
Is it legal to send CBD oil through the mail?
Yes, as long as the CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, then you can ship CBD through the mail.
Can I ship CBD?
Yes, CBD with THC levels below the 0.3% threshold can be shipped to all 50 states.
Which couriers allow CBD?
All mail couriers allow you to ship CBD with less than 0.3% THC.
ShipBob works with all the major shipping carriers and helps get your CBD products delivered to US customers safely. Get in touch with ShipBob today to learn more.
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The Latest Look at CBD Distribution and Fulfillment Requirements
Great news: CBD oil stays fresh for a year or longer.
Not-so-great news: CBD information doesn’t.
As federal and state authorities continue to refine their regulatory stance on a wide variety of industrial hemp issues, the latest advice can lose its accuracy in a matter of months. All of which can make it tough for companies like yours to remain compliant with CBD warehouse and fulfillment requirements.
Thankfully, Amware Fulfillment has got your back. We’ve taken the time to collect some of the latest CBD news and updated this handy Q&A article on CBD warehouse and fulfillment operations.
Is it currently legal for companies that market CBD products to ship CBD oil or industrial hemp products to every state?
Yes. However any CBD product you ship must be derived from hemp rather than marijuana, and as such it must contain less than 0.3% THC. Anything more than that makes it marijuana. A USDA interim rule that was issued in late 2019 made it easier for companies to ship CBD and industrial hemp nationally.
This is all still true. A final rule announced in 2021 by the USDA affirmed its support of the interstate transportation of legal hemp.
Do all parcel carriers (DHL, Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS) ship CBD and other hemp products?
You’re in luck. All four of the national parcel carriers now ship CBD products.
This remains true and is crucial for shippers who want to choose from the widest possible range of reliable and economical parcel shipping options.
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act did make it more difficult to mail vaping products. In response to the act, the USPS, as well as FedEx and UPS, announced that they would not mail any vaping products or liquids.
Are there any special requirements for shipping CBD oil and other hemp products?
The parcel carriers who accept CBD shipments have some primary requirements:
- All products shipped must contain less than 0.3% THC level.
- Shippers must ensure they’re compliant with all federal, state, and local laws that pertain to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, and transportation of hemp.
Some states have more stringent labeling requirements, which means that orders shipped there may need a bit of additional attention in the CBD warehouse before they can be shipped.
All of those requirements still apply. Carriers also continue to have their own guidelines. For instance, USPS requires a sender to keep records demonstrating compliance with applicable laws, such as copies of producer and processor licenses, for at least 3 years following the mailing date.
Among its guidelines, UPS will not ship any CDB or other hemp products that come from a location that sells marijuana or marijuana products.
Suppliers should maintain their relevant licenses for industrial hemp production. Routine lab testing of CBD products can ensure that the THC level remains within legal limits.
There have been stories about the seizure of packages or truckloads containing hemp in some states. Is that still an issue?
Although the 2018 Farm Bill permits the use of industrial hemp nationwide, it doesn’t supersede any state or local laws that pertain to the same subject. Much like some local municipalities have laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, some states still can (and do) choose to exercise strong restrictions related to transportation of hemp within their borders.
It is within states’ legal rights to make life tougher on hemp shippers by requiring costly transportation licenses or permits.
States and cities can still restrict the sale or production of hemp-based products within their borders, but they cannot restrict the transportation of those products through their borders.
However, although states are prohibited from stopping the interstate transportation of hemp, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance noted in 2022 that there are inconsistencies in how the transportation of hemp is treated by enforcement authorities at the state level due to differences in state laws, enforcement policies and varying legal classifications of hemp. Consequently, the alliance has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend its regulations and require interstate transporters of hemp to carry shipping documents that promote a more uniform treatment across states, such as a lab testing report for the hemp, a grower’s license for the hemp being transported, contact information for the buyer and seller, and the invoice/bill of lading.
Do CBD oils and other hemp products require special material handling, parcel handling, or CBD warehouse fulfillment protocols and are these subject to change?
If the CBD or hemp product is edible, it’s a food-grade product that needs to be stored at a food-grade warehousing facility.
It also depends on whether your product has a sell-by or best-by date, because that will make efficient inventory control and picking procedures like first in/first out considerably more important.
Traceability is also key, especially if your CBD product is certified organic and your company wants to stay compliant with farm-to-shipping documentation requirements.
Sound inventory rotation and lot control processes are as important as ever in the CBD warehouse, both in terms of preserving CBD products’ efficacy and ensuring product traceability (which is important in the event of a recall.)
Some hemp-based products, like CDB oil, also come in breakable containers, so using best dunnage and packaging practices is recommended – like tightly packing boxes with paper pods made of craft paper, which can absorb the oil on the off chance that a bottle breaks in transit.
Are there any other CBD warehouse, fulfillment and shipping best practices you’d recommend?
As a rule, we recommend companies consider adopting some of the smart practices that are often used for the shipping of high-value products – including use of generic packaging that doesn’t advertise what’s actually inside packages, using tamper-proof packaging materials, and working with providers whose employees have been carefully screened and background checked.
It also might be smart to consider housing your product with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or CBD warehouse company that can provide value-added services like kitting and packaging. That way if federal, state or local authorities require you to make a modification to your product packaging or labeling, these 3PL employees can switch your packaging out in the warehouse rather than having to ship it back to you so you can do the same.
All of this advice still applies – and some of it has come in handy for some of our CBD clients, who are now being tasked with affixing different labels for packages that are being shipped to Florida. Amware is handling the application of those labels in its fulfillment center.
Any other advice on CBD warehouse and distribution requirements?
This landscape is constantly changing, so we encourage you to monitor the latest reports from leading hemp industry news outlets, key lobbying and industry groups such as the National Hemp Association, and the CBD industry’s compliance experts. In addition, Hemp Industry Daily closely tracks developments in the industry.
Consulting with legal experts can help sort through the complex issues surrounding CBD warehousing and distribution. In addition, keep Amware on your radar screen. We’re a proud CBD warehouse and fulfillment company for a number of clients and are closely monitoring the landscape.
Direct CBD Warehousing and Distribution Experience
While it’s important to stay up to speed with regulatory and carrier updates, there’s no substitute for direct experience handling and shipping CBD products.
PureKana, a fast-growing wellness company, is one of several Amware customers that market CBD products. We handle the company’s national CBD product distribution from an LA-area fulfillment center.
PureKana Operations Manager Todd Winnie says the best benefit of the shift to Amware Fulfillment has been the greater sense of confidence it’s brought to the whole PureKana team – from Sales to Customer Service to Finance. “We know we can grow aggressively and expand our warehouse network nationally without worrying whether our fulfillment partner can keep up.”
Want to learn more about this CBD warehouse and fulfillment case? Read the full case study or contact Amware to speak to one of our fulfillment specialists.