CBD Business — Online Business Opportunities

It is the dream of most to have a successful online business, but many markets are oversaturated, making it difficult to get ahead. CBD and hemp are relatively new on the scene (due to previous laws), and if you are fast enough, you may be able to capitalize on one of the many online opportunities available in this industry. 

There is a range of online CBD opportunities and not all are specific to selling or having a license to sell medical prescriptions. Others include blogging, reviewing, distributing foodstuffs, clothing, supplements, streaming, marketing, delivery, etc.

In this article, you’ll learn why now is a great time to get into the CBD and/or hemp industry and figure out your potential opportunities in the online sector with these products. You’ll also discover what a solid business plan looks like and what to expect from jumping into the online CBD industry.

Why Start a CBD or Hemp Business or Online Business?

If you are reading this article, you know the CBD industry is exploding worldwide, and you want in on the action. In the United States alone, the forecast for consumer sales of CBD will reach approximately $1.8 billion in 2022 and will likely hit $23 billion by 2025. That’s an increase of almost 1200% in just three years. To put it simply, U.S. consumers are purchasing more and more products that are associated with CBD.[1]

If that doesn’t get you excited, then let’s look at the global statistics. Between 2021 and 2028, the global cannabidiol market size is expected to have an increased annual growth rate of 21.8%. [2]

Now, you might be thinking that this all sounds like a great opportunity, but is there really a market for CBD that doesn’t involve the sale of marijuana?

The fact of the matter is, so many industries are now incorporating CBD into their products, and it has nothing to do with marijuana.

Industries such as fashion, food, supplements, personal care and cosmetics have jumped on board and begun incorporating CBD into their products.

What About Hemp?

Now that you are aware of the potential in the global CBD market, you may also be wondering about hemp. If you don’t know what the difference is between hemp, marijuana and CBD, don’t worry because many individuals don’t.

Technically, marijuana and hemp are the same species. However, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% of THC.[3]

The global hemp market is expected to expand annually by 16.2% from 2021 to 2028. [4]

As with CBD, hemp is now used in industries such as agriculture, food and cosmetics.

What About CBD, Hemp and the Online Industry?

This brings us to a discussion on how these products (with such a large projected market growth) affect the online industry and bolster online businesses that focus on CBD and hemp. Additionally, what fields of online business do they relate to, and what opportunities exist in this sector (which we will deal with in the next section).

As we said, CBD and hemp have a place in many industries, and these can overflow into the online market. For example, clothing manufacturers can sell their products made from CBD or hemp online, while fashionistas who love the product line can create a blog and review site.

Other ways these industries or opportunities can work in the online marketplace is with:

  • Podcasting
  • Streaming
  • Distribution/courier service
  • Marketing
  • Supplementation and/or medication
  • Food/clothing
  • Blogging/reviewing
  • Buying/selling (distribution)

These are general categories that can take advantage of the CBD and hemp industry on the internet. They will be linked to a website, newsletter, group or social network in one way or another. Let’s explore these further.

CBD Business and Online Business Opportunities

We have taken the generalized categories above and explained them in detail here so you as an individual can envision ways to jump into the online CBD or hemp industry. We will go over each potential opportunity and then detail what type of revenue it could possibly generate along with its startup requirements.

All the startup requirements include an internet connection and a device that is able to use it, whether it be a computer, laptop or mobile device. Take into consideration what the best fit will be for your situation.

Podcasting

Podcasting is a great way to get your voice out there, have your opinion heard and build a loyal following if you have the time and patience. 

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Sponsorships
  • Donations
  • Merchandise
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Crowdfunding

Startup Requirements

A podcast will require a subscription service on a podcast platform, along with equipment including a microphone. Depending on the equipment you wish to purchase, this could range from under $100 to a couple of hundred.

Streaming

Streaming, while similar to podcasting, is a little different. If you don’t mind being in front of a camera, doing your hair and makeup, you could be plugging CBD vape juice from your bedroom. Live streaming has the potential to generate revenue in the millions.

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Sponsorships
  • Donations
  • Merchandise
  • Affiliate marketing

Startup Requirements

Streaming will require a webcam, a computer of some sort, a microphone and some sort of spin on why people should tune in to your stream regarding CBD. For example, reviewing CBD-based products could be a start.

Courier Service

A courier service entails delivering CBD or hemp-based products from a supplier to a customer. If the sound of the open road appeals to you, but you would still like an online business, then this could be your answer.

For the most part, you would be an intermediary service (middle man) and would need to either have some association with an already established online CBD business or have your own online presence where you specifically deal in delivery.

Revenue Generation

  • Percentage-based profit
  • Fixed-rate
  • Advertisements (if you own a website)

Startup Requirements

This will require a vehicle and, in most cases, a van. You also need to think about your delivery area, how far your expanse (reach) will be and the market area you’re capable of maintaining.

Other subjective requirements include being happy on the road a lot and being able to liaise with clients easily.

Marketing

Online marketing is an area with endless possibilities for exponential growth because the internet is riddled with social media platforms, blogs, advertisements and plugs for anything. You could offer marketing services for an online business that sells CBD or hemp products and make money promoting their brand.

Placing ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google and the likes could yield the business more customers and thus profits. Placing ads is just one aspect of marketing, and you would have to broaden your knowledge in the field. Other ways to market include email, reviews and affiliates.

Revenue Generation

  • Fixed-rate
  • Percentage cut
  • Affiliate marketing

Startup Requirements

As we touched on, you would need some knowledge of online marketing. Depending on how your revenue is structured, the better you are at it, the more you could make.

Supplementation and/or Medication

Now, most of us won’t have a license to distribute pharmaceuticals or medication, but this market is broad. You could easily offer services for these industries in the form of web development, online marketing and affiliate sales.

Affiliate sales would involve you having or sharing ad space that these industries could capitalize on if you are able to draw an audience.

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Percentage cut
  • Fixed-rate
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing

Startup Requirements

You would essentially need some form of online presence or experience in the service you wish to offer these industries.

In terms of being an intermediary business, no matter what it is, you will need good social skills and a clear direction of where you could take the company you are trying to offer your services to.

Food/Clothing

Depending on what skills you have, this could be a great opportunity to reap the rewards from CBD. If you are a cook, you could have a blog posting recipes or reviewing food that is enhanced with CBD. This could work for many forms of internet media, including as an influencer, YouTube, streaming and podcasting.

Due to food and clothing being so closely related in terms of how the business is based, these same examples would apply to CBD or hemp clothing firms. Remember that food and clothing are tied in culture, location, popularity and seasons.

Again, you could take other skills you have and apply them to CBD food retailers, but with an online spin through marketing or web design, offering ad space or affiliate sponsorships, etc.

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Percentage cut
  • Fixed-rate
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Merchandise
  • Donations

Startup Requirements

For the most part, the startup would entail you having experience in the avenue you are looking to pursue. However, some do not, such as blogging or reviewing.

Blogging/Reviewing

We mentioned blogging and reviewing in a few other headings, but they are worth discussing in their own section here. Blogging about CBD food or clothing, as we mentioned above, is just one avenue, but there are many others aspects of these products.

For example, you could have a blog that keeps up to date with the current laws on CBD and hemp. You could focus on companies trying to push legislation regarding it or even review recipes of Christmas CBD dishes. The possibilities are endless.

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Percentage cut
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Merchandise
  • Donations
  • Advertisements

Startup Requirements

All you need for this is your own blog, and that is easy enough to set up these days with the multitude of online blogging platforms.

Buying/Selling (Distribution)

Depending on what products you are looking at and the amount of capital you have, you could be an intermediary business that buys large quantities of stock from a supplier and then sells at a profit to online customers through an e-commerce store.

You will have to take into consideration your state’s laws and business licenses to operate in the CBD and hemp sector, whether buying or selling.

Also, if you are an online e-commerce store, you could generate additional revenue from other sources.

Revenue Generation

  • Advertisements
  • Percentage cut
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Merchandise
  • Advertisements

Startup Requirements

To be a distributor, you are going to need a bit of capital for your venture. Also, depending on what product you’re working with, you may need additional startup money.

Also, you will need a business license if you plan to sell medication or pharmaceuticals.

How to Get Started With CBD and Hemp Ideas

As with any business idea, you will need a business plan. Below we list the route you should take for understanding how to start a business from the get-go.

Legal Obligations

Your first consideration will have to be all legal obligations. We discussed some avenues that you can take that don’t require much legal consideration, but if you plan to distribute hemp or CBD, you will need to know the federal laws.

For example, CBD produced from marijuana is legal in 15 states for recreational use and 36 states for medical use. [5]

Market Analysis

Market analysis will help you understand what to expect if you are planning to go into a niche or an over-saturated market. Here you will study your competitors, your product range and your target audience, making sure there is space for you in this market and that you will eventually turn a profit.

Remember that niche markets with a large audience will typically yield a better market result.

Confirm Your Product and Target Audience

Once you have studied the market and found your niche, you will home in on your target audience and cater explicitly to them with your specific CBD or hemp product.

At this point, you will also determine what assets you need, such as an online store, warehouse, sorting facility, vehicles, staff and more.

Financing

Here you will need to either invest in your business with your own startup capital or acquire it from investors. One way to get investors is to have a good business plan and strategy with reliable and solid forecasts for the business’s growth.

Banks can also be a good form of capital by taking out a loan. Banks, however, will look at your credit history and your assets to determine how much they are willing to give you.

Marketing

Marketing will include planning out a strategy to get your brand (product) out there to the masses. Even the worst business with a lousy product can do well if they have the correct marketing.

If you are a blogger or in a field where marketing is not your prerogative, this will still apply to you. Marketing is not defined by ads but rather by reach, and you will need to create a strategy to make yours bigger. One example of this is email marketing or affiliate programs.

How to Promote an Online CBD Business

Promoting an online business (in this case, a CBD business) will require similar steps as any other business. Here is a list of typical marketing strategies that online companies and individuals often employ:

  • Ads (Google, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Social networking (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsorships
  • Donations
  • Profit-sharing

Where to Advertise Your CBD Online Business

As listed above, we described ads as a source of marketing. Typically, the most well-known ad spaces available that have a reach in the millions are Google, Instagram and Facebook.

However, these are not the only places you have to advertise. Think of your niche and well-known online personalities, influencers and websites in that niche.

You will be able to buy ad space in the form of a banner (on a website) or airtime (on a podcast or video). 

For example, if you have a great CBD vape juice, you can sponsor a YouTube influencer’s video that reviews vape juice.

Competitive Advantage

Once you have set up your business and everything is on a healthy, steady track of growth, you can look at getting a competitive advantage in your niche.

This could include buying or selling in bulk, giving discounts or cornering the market on a new idea.

Conclusion

CBD and hemp are two of the largest growing industries globally. If you are thinking about getting into the CBD or hemp industry, there is no better time than now.

Remember that you do not have to specifically distribute medical CBD because this is not the only business opportunity you have in today’s world. As we discussed, the possibilities are almost endless.

Whatever you decide, just remember to formulate a good business plan, understand what service you are going to provide and know your target audience.

Source list

  1. Total U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) product sales from 2014 to 2022
  2. Cannabidiol Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report
  3. The Name of Cannabis: A Short Guide for Nonbotanists
  4. Industrial Hemp Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report
  5. How to Start a CBD Business: The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Green Light

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