In short, the answer is yes. But unlike other product categories, sellers can’t jump on Amazon or eBay to list CBD overnight.
For years, eBay seemed against CBD. But in 2022, the online auction and shopping site reversed its global ban on selling hemp-derived cannabinoid products for approved sellers only on its UK marketplace. That means private sellers are still prohibited.
CBD retailers hoping to see their product on eBay must be registered business sellers on the platform, must comply with UK law and the marketplace rules relating to cosmetics, food, and illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Any un-approved sellers listing CBD products risk having their eBay accounts sanctioned, and could forfeit their selling privileges.
“CBD products that comply with all applicable legal requirements may only be sold by permitted sellers only.
“Activity that doesn’t follow eBay policy could result in a range of actions, including for example: administratively ending or cancelling listings, hiding or demoting all listings from search results, lowering seller rating, buying or selling restrictions, and account suspension. All fees paid or payable in relation to listings or accounts on which we take any action will not be refunded or otherwise credited to your account.”
ACI member British Cannabis, the holders of a licence for Elixinol, are prominent approved sellers on eBay with 2,800 products sold by September 2022.
What about Amazon?
The world’s biggest online retailer takes a similar approach to CBD, opting to run an invite-only pilot scheme to trial the sale of cannabinoids to its audience in the UK. The trial run only applies to products listed on Amazon.co.uk and requires strict adherence to terms from brands. Those enrolled in the trial must refrain from making certain claims about their products, including:
- Full or broad spectrum claims
- % strength claims (where it is not clear what ingredient the % refers to)
- Claims relating to CO2 and other extraction methods
- Endocannabinoid system references, in particular to CB1 and CB2 receptors
What about CBD wholesale?
Retailers have a wide range of choice when it comes to finding a CBD wholesale model which works for them. The business-to-business sector is complete with brand-to-retail sales, distribution networks and white label initiatives.
All three routes to market require compliance with the regulation governing the product for sale. Novel food regulations apply to all ingestible products, while other codes apply to vape and cosmetic products.
For example, where a bottle of CBD oil (also known as a tincture) is concerned, the specific product being sold must comply with Food Standards Agency rules.
These rules state that any consumable CBD product for sale on the UK market must pre-date 13 February 2020. And the food safety regulator must also have received a valid novel foods application for the same product.
In short, this means no new CBD oils, oral supplements or confectionary items have been permitted to launch in the UK since February 2020. Earlier this year, the food safety body confirmed that “no new products” would be allowed from 13 February 2020, without pre-market authorisation.
Those who missed this deadline, who may be intending to launch to market with a new ingestible product must first achieve novel foods authorisation on their branded goods. Regardless of whether the manufacturer has made an application to FSA or not, each branded product also needs to be authorised.
B2B sales of white label products can occur, but any B2C sale of a finished product must have pre-market authorisation if it was not on sale before that date.
ACI advises its members and any company selling white labelled CBD goods to highlight the above to prospective clients, to enable them to prepare for the process of authorisation of their branded products.