The global green rush has begun. As countries around the world loosen their laws on cannabis, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are spying an abundance of opportunity to create a wide variety of profitable cannabis-related businesses.
Even in the UK, where prohibition restricts most forms of cannabis, there is still plenty to get excited over. Especially when it comes to hemp and CBD, the non-psychoactive (and legal) side of cannabis.
This guide aims to teach you all you need to know to set up your own online CBD shop.
The UK’s CBD industry
Over the last couple of years, the CBD industry in the UK has blossomed into a multi-million pound market. And it’s still growing rapidly.
This is partly due to the increasing awareness of CBD’s powerful therapeutic properties, driven largely by the mainstream media’s coverage of success stories involving CBD and various medical conditions.
There are now hundreds of vendors selling a massive range of CBD-containing products. The most popular have been CBD oil, CBD e-liquids and vape pens, CBD topicals like balm, and, more recently, CBD hemp flower.
Who should open a CBD shop?
Due to the mind-opening nature of the plant, the community and culture surrounding cannabis is like no other. It’s full of compassionate, honest, intelligent people.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, many cannabis-lovers are attracted to work or set up shop in the industry, making it a pretty unique field to work in.
However, when is comes to business, idealistic tendencies and a knack for procrastination mean not every stoner is up to the task.
So, if you have a passion for cannabis, a desire to do good, and the decisiveness, drive and flexibility to succeed in business, then opening a CBD shop could be a great venture for you.
Why you should open a CBD shop
Doing something meaningful and useful with your life is the key to happiness and success.
So, imagine helping people everyday by supplying them with an effective, safe and natural medicine that has been used for thousands of years. And getting paid well to do it!
Running a CBD shop offers you the chance to do just that.
We spoke to Mike, the founder of impressive new online CBD shop HempHash.co.uk, to find out what motivated him and his team to launch their own venture.
He said “we wanted to offer people the benefits of cannabis without getting customers ‘high’ or intoxicated. Hemp CBD is the perfect choice because it is scientifically proven to be anti-psychoactive yet it helps so many people change their lives from worse to better, this brings us great joy!”
“There are so many different reasons why people use hemp CBD but it always seems to help. Knowing that our customers are happy and that we’re helping change lives in a positive way is an incredible feeling. And, from a moralities perspective, we rest well in the knowledge that we’re not getting our customers ‘high’ and that we’re living by the UK law of the land.”
How to set up an online CBD shop
If you think you have the heart and the head to run a successful CBD business, here are the steps you will need to take to realise your dream…
But make sure you act quick. You’re not the only one with this idea and new shops are opening every day. However, if you do manage to establish yourself as a reliable and professional shop in the near future, there is a strong chance you will be flourishing for years to come.
- Decide on a name and buy a domain
Your shop’s name is important. It needs to be easy to remember (and spell), give an idea of what you sell, and the domain has got to be available.
When picking a domain, .co.uk or .com are usually seen as more trustworthy. However, if your ideal domain name is taken, .org or .net or something similar will be fine.
- Find a supplier
You’re looking for a well-established supplier with high-quality products, good rates, and, if you don’t have huge funds available, a low minimum order amount.
- Register your company and register for corporation tax
You might not want to do this until you’ve actually got some money coming in, but having your company registered with Companies House will help you look more professional and trustworthy. Also, some suppliers will need your company details and tax reference.
- Set up your website
With the software available for free these days, you can whip up a online shop quickly and cheaply. However, if you want more than a no-frills website, hiring a designer may be best.
Make sure you clearly display your contact details, business address, and a disclaimer stating your products are not intended for medical use and are being sold as food supplements only. Only products approved by the MRHA are allowed to be sold as medicines.
- Get a merchant account
A merchant account is a basically a business bank account that allows to you take online card payments. There are many simple and cheap options out there. Unfortunately, however, most don’t like working with any business related to cannabis.
It does seem to be getting easier, though. Your best bet is to try high-risk providers and to find out what payment providers other CBD companies are using.
Mike from HempHash says: “It was not easy to find a merchant provider, as previously mentioned, nearly all refuse to work with CBD businesses. It took a lot of homework but we managed to find one with competitive rates that was happy to work with us.
“… Anyone who is setting up a CBD business or currently has one is more than welcome to get in contact with us and we will be more than happy to point them in the right direction.”
- Set up social media pages
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages allows your customers a chance to get to know the real you and gives them a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a CBD shop. Having active social media pages is vital in this day and age.
- Start spreading the word
Whether it’s online or in person, start telling people about what you’re doing. CBD is attracting a lot of interest and people want to find out if it can help them. First, offer advice and education. Then, if you think it would be of use to them, offer your products.
Tips for those interested in starting their own online CBD shop
For some advice in starting a CBD shop, we thought it was best to come from someone who’s been there and done it. So here’s Mike from HempHash again:
“My advice is be very careful who you’re sending money to, if the company is abroad – make sure they are reputable and the website is legit. Check that there are plenty of good reviews for that company.
“If people start making all sorts of promises and their products are very cheap, essentially if it sounds too good to be true and they seem desperate for your business – these are major red flags. Be vigilant – there are a lot of scammers out there!
“Also, be conscious that if you attempt to import any CBD product into the UK (apart from CBD Isolate) without first gaining permission/an import licence from the Home Office, you run the high risk of having your items seized by customs, unfortunately.
“If anyone is looking to start their own CBD business they are more than welcome to contact us to discuss wholesale options with total peace of mind, we endeavour to supply the highest quality of produce at the most competitive prices.”
The future of CBD, hemp and cannabis in the UK
The demand for CBD and cannabis-derived products has grown rapidly in the UK over the last two years. And its popularity is certain to continue into 2019 and beyond.
In fact, cannabis and its derivatives have MASSIVE potential in so many aspects of life, from textiles and building materials to fuel and medicine.
This means that all cannabis-related industries are on
And Mike from HempHash agrees, saying: “CBD is the new trend and we expect it’s presence to grow significantly within the UK over the next few years. Demand for top quality Hemp CBD is high!”
Will you be apart of this game-changing industry? Now is the time to decide.