WooCommerce policy on selling CBD products explained

WooCommerce policy on selling CBD products explained

In today’s article we discuss whether WooCommerce is CBD-friendly and how you, as a store owner, can legally sell your cannabis-derived products using this platform. To do so, we’ll take a deep look at the famous and controversial case that happened last year.

Back in June 2019, a member of the WooCommerce Help and Share Facebook group who sells CBD products published a post. It included his email correspondence with WooCommerce support.

In one of the emails, the WooCommerce representative explained to the merchant that every WooCommerce.com account that’s linked to a WordPress.com login falls under the WordPress.com store guidelines.

In line with the guidelines, controlled substances (such as marijuana, cannabidiol, CBD, and other cannabis-derived products) are prohibited for sales.

Yet, the support rep mentioned that this included but wasn’t limited to sites using WordPress.com, the Jetpack plugin, and any extensions from WooCommerce.com.

Later on, the merchant was informed that his store will be disconnected from Automattic hosted services if he continues to sell high-risk CBD-derived products.

The confusion around legal documents

The support rep shared a digest of the most frequently asked questions on selling CBD products via WooCommerce.

The information of the document made is sound as if there was a difference between downloading the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory or WooCommerce.com. It also seemed to imply restrictions on how the GPL licensed software might be used. Check out a brief version of the original document.

Frequently Asked Questions on selling CBD products via WooCommerce

Can WooCommerce be used to sell cannabis-derived products such as CBD oil?

Yes, if you download the WooCommerce plugin directly from WordPress.org or integrate the WooCommerce plugin via the Plugins page of your website from WordPress.org.

No, if you download and install the WooCommerce plugin directly from WooCommerce.com.

That’s exactly what is confusing. Is the location of download the only thing that makes a difference?

What’s the difference?

The difference is in the ownership.

WooCommerce plugin downloaded from the WordPress.org is open-source software and is hosted through a third-party company.

WooCommerce plugin downloaded from WooCommerce.com and WordPress.com is hosted through Automattic. Merchants are prohibited to sell cannabis-derived products if they are connected to Automattic servers. That comprises but is not limited to WordPress.com, the Jetpack plugin, and any plugin or extension downloaded from WooCommerce.com directly. Сheck out how to open internet merchant account to sell CBD products easily.

Can I use WooCommerce software from  (x company)  to sell cannabis-derived products?

If you use open-source WooCommerce software from a third-party company, there are might be additional restrictions, limitations, and regulations concerning shipping and payment companies.

Can I get support for a WooCommerce store selling CBD products?

No, you can’t. At least, not from WooCommerce.com or WordPress.com.

Many of the WooCommerce owners and customers inhabit countries where CBD cannabis-derived products are fully legalized. Yet, the production and sale of cannabis-derived products in the USA – where WooCommerce company is registered – is highly regulated.

Under the circumstances, we are presently incapable of offering any support to WooCommerce sites that sells CBD oil or other cannabis-derived products. The fact that the CBD oil is over or under 0.3% THC and whether it is derived from hemp or cannabis doesn’t change the situation.

Original WooCommerce and CBD Products FAQ

Acknowledging the confusion, Paul Maiorana, Acting General Manager of WooCommerce, reacted to the discussion. He admitted – in a Facebook thread – that the CBD-related policies weren’t as clear as they should be.

Later on that week, the WooCommerce team revised the policy and cast the light on what is and is not allowed.

Can WooCommerce be used to sell cannabis-derived products such as CBD oil?

Yes, you can use WooCommerce for your store Since our software is open source, we do not limit its usage.

At the meantime, while you can use the code of our WooCommerce plugin to sell cannabis and hemp-derived products, you can’t use services offered directly by Automattic to maintain those stores. This is valid no matter whether the products are over or under 0.3% THC, and whether they are derived from hemp or cannabis. Automattic’s direct services comprise, but are not limited to, WordPress.com, WooCommerce.com, and the Jetpack plugin.

That is to say, you can use the open source WooCommerce plugin so to sell cannabis-derived products, but you can’t:

Connect your store to Auttomatic’s services in WooCommerce →Extensions→WooCommerce.com Subcriptions for automatic extension updates at WordPress.com

Thus, you can use WooCommerce services that rely on a Jetpack connection, such as WooCommerce Shipping or WooCommerce Tax.

Can I get help for my WooCommerce store?

Yes, you can. Our WooCommerce.com help desk can aid you with your store if you would normally qualify to get support. You might also get assistance from others users in the WordPress.org forums or the WooCommerce community.

Revised WooCommerce and CBD Products FAQ

Within the last two years, WooCommerce company has increased its reliance on Jetpack and its cooperation with WordPress.com’s infrastructure. These contain WooCommerce Shipping, the WooCommerce app, and Automated Tax Calculations.


While the policy makes things clearer, CBD store owners have to research and make it clear whether they can maintain businesses without the convenience granted by Jetpack, WooCommerce.com, and WordPress.com. The situation is also a reminder to all store owners to learn and analyze a service’s policies before connecting any sites.