How to (Legally) Grow a Cannabis E-Commerce Business

3 min read Last Updated: June 16, 2020
cannabis business

Written by Michael Trang

Michael Trang is a Managing Partner at SKU Agency - the e-commerce agency focused on growing your business through strategy, technology & design. Michael loves fishing, playing guitar, and learning about the latest & greatest technologies.

A Legal Cannabis Industry

Times are changing, and one industry that’s really feeling those changes right now is the cannabis industry. Marijuana legalization is slowly spreading across the nation state by state. The federal government is now regularly considering legislation that would overturn the federal cannabis ban and allow states to make their own call without federal interference. For those in this business, things are looking up.

However, as with many controlled substances, there’s no ability to sell cannabis online through an e-commerce storefront. Naturally, that puts a damper on anyone’s plans to expand into online sales. If you can’t sell the product that acts as your main source of income, than what can you sell? We have an answer for that.


CannaCraft Provides Medical Cannabis

Local Sonoma County business CannaCraft has been killing it lately. In January 2018, the former Dean of Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics took on the CEO role with a eye toward putting Northern California on the map as a hub for cannabis-related business. And as any good businessperson knows, finding success means coming at a problem from multiple angles. CannaCraft may not be able to sell cannabis products online, but that hasn’t stopped them from building a thriving e-commerce storefront. How? By improvising and being smart.

We recently had the pleasure of launching a full Shopify store setup for CannaCraft’s AbsoluteXtracts ABX brand. The brand itself creates strain-specific cannabis oil vape cartridges, sublingual drops, cannabis strips, and similar products. However, they can only offer pick-up and delivery service – these products cannot be purchased online or shipped outside California. So what’s the Shopify store for?

Branded apparel and swag. Genius, right? CannaCraft’s already making a name for itself in the industry with a prominent partnership with Lagunitas Brewing Company and producing a superior product, so in order to expand name recognition even further and add another revenue stream to the business, branded cannabis accessories seemed like the logical way to go.


Vaping with Cannabis

Both vape culture and cannabis culture have enormous and passionate cult followings that are rapidly becoming mainstream followings. It’s the perfect time to capitalize on that forward momentum by considering a variety of products you can easily sell in an e-commerce storefront. It brings in money, it improves brand recognition, and it gives people outside your typical sale range an opportunity to connect with the brand.

Shopify is an excellent choice for a business owner with their fingers in many pies. It’s incredibly intuitive with a fast setup process, and you can use it as a center of operations for distributing on some of the internet’s biggest e-commerce hubs. Launching a storefront is simple and maintaining it is just as easy with the wealth of tools and apps that Shopify offers. You can organize a diverse storefront, keep an eye on inventory, source product, drop ship, print shipping labels on demand, maintain a customer email list, manage your digital marketing, and so much more.

The world really is your oyster when you use the powerhouse Shopify system to expand into e-commerce. We really enjoy working with up-and-coming cannabis companies who are looking to move into the e-commerce sector. We’re always up for offering up some ideas for merchandise that’ll put your business on the virtual map. We’re currently in the process of putting together a full-service offering that includes site design, Shopify setup, product sourcing, and e-commerce marketing, so you get everything you need to get off the ground in one neat package. What a powerful package it is, too.

Now’s the time to start brainstorming. Do you have a solid brand that would make awesome branded apparel? Ideas for accessories? Maybe you’re even toying with the idea of key chains or vape cleaning gear. Get creative! If you need a helping hand, hit us up.

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