CBD Hosting – Finding a CBD Friendly Host For Your Site
One of the biggest pain points for emerging CBD brands today is finding reliable sources for essential business tools and applications such as banking, payroll processing and ecommerce website hosting.
Despite the mainstream presence and federally legal status of hemp-derived CBD or cannabidiol, there are still stigmatizing forces at play preventing CBD companies from utilizing the resources every other business has easy access to.
This is largely due to the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal. And unfortunately, hemp-based CBD is often lumped into the same category as cannabis by mainstream platforms and companies who would prefer to avoid taking on any risk while cannabis remains federally illegal, though they are two different plants that both happen to produce the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD.
The downside is this makes it hard for legitimate businesses to create the digital footprint they need to keep up with the competition in today’s modern world of ecommerce. Given the very stringent ad restrictions on CBD advertising, it’s essential to have a reliable host and platform optimal for SEO so potential leads can access your website with ease and navigate your path to purchase seamlessly.
So the reality is that at this point in time, it’s vital to identify a solid website host that supports companies who sell CBD with as few extra steps possible; especially for small businesses starting out who need to lay a solid foundation and generate sales efficiently.
Which Platforms Host CBD Companies & Allow You to Sell CBD?
Aligning with a well-known web host offers your brand credibility by proximity and gives you access to the core functionalities of their system which can be especially useful if you need to build and host your website in the same place. But generally, most hosts who will allow CBD companies on the platform won’t allow access to their full range of payment systems, services and solutions.
It’s also important to note that hypothetically at any time for any reason, a hosting service like Shopify, Wix or Squarespace can decide to stop allowing CBD companies on the platform. The result could mean the removal of your shop and website completely. Which could disrupt your ability to generate business, market yourself and maintain business credibility. How likely is that to happen? Tough to say. But still an important factor to consider.
So, what are your options? It’s critical to know that none of this means you can’t or shouldn’t utilize these mainstream platforms. But if you do, you will need to navigate carefully to ensure you understand exactly what the platform’s restrictions are for CBD companies before making a decision either way.
What to Pay Attention to When Looking for a CBD-Friendly Web Host
For the time being, Squarespace has not directly expressed their position on hosting hemp-based CBD stores on their platform, nor any explicit rules or regulations. As it stands, there are hemp-derived CBD companies using squarespace to build and host their websites but they are not able to utilize the ecommerce shop management or payment processing functions without using a third-party platform or software.
GoDaddy’s exact policy on hosting CBD websites is also relatively obscure. The platform has not yet outright said they do not host CBD businesses. But they have been very clear about qualifying CBD shops as ineligible for GoDaddy’s website design services.
Additionally, GoDaddyPayments has established very clear boundaries around payment processing, and strictly prohibits any business that manufactures, distributes, or sells Hemp or CBD products or merchandise.
Shopify has made their position clear on allowing hemp-based CBD companies to sell and host their websites on the platform. To do so, all companies will need to submit Shopify’s Attestation for the Sale of Hemp and Hemp-Derived Products.
At the moment, Shopify Payments is not available for hemp or CBD products. But the platform has partnerships with third-party payment gateways. Requirements for approval may vary depending on the processor.
You can review the criteria and apply directly to any of these gateways below:
Discover more in-depth rules and regulations for selling CBD on Shopify’s platform here.
Only U.S. based businesses are permitted to use Wix for selling hemp-derived CBD products digitally. To process payments, the platform partners with third-party payment providers, Square, Pinwheel, and Evergreen Payments Northwest.
Similar to Shopify, companies will be required to submit a Declaration for Selling Hemp Products. If you haven’t yet connected your site to a payment provider, you’ll be able to connect to Square or Pinwheel right after submitting the declaration.
Then, you can either create a new account with the provider or connect an existing account if you have one.
Just know that when you create an account with a third-party payment provider to sell hemp-derived CBD products on Wix the application process could take longer than is typical.
4) Adobe Experience Cloud & Magento Open Source
Since Adobe’s stance on hemp-derived CBD products is relatively murky, there’s been confusion about whether or not Adobe Commerce Cloud permits hemp-based CBD companies on the platform. But essentially CBD sellers are permitted to use Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce Cloud.
Cannabis products are only permitted on Magento on-premise.
Final Thoughts: Selecting the Right Web Host for CBD Companies
Remember, most well-known web hosting sites allow hemp-derived CBD companies access to their platforms but under very tight guidelines. Primarily, the stipulation that your company incorporate a third-party payment processor to sell your products on the platform. Additionally, your company will need to undergo the platform’s strict verification process to confirm you are a seller of hemp-based CBD.