Cannabis and E-Commerce: The Role of Compliance in Online Sales and Marketing

April 11, 2023
Featured image for “Cannabis and E-Commerce: The Role of Compliance in Online Sales and Marketing”

Ahead of 4/20 and increased sales, comes increased risk 

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, so does the way businesses operate. With the rise of e-commerce and the announcement of Twitter to allow social media advertising, more and more cannabis companies are turning to online sales and marketing to reach their customers and promote their brands. However, with this increased convenience comes an increased risk of non-compliance.

To ensure that their online operations are compliant, cannabis businesses must adhere to the same regulations and requirements as their brick-and-mortar.

 This includes obtaining proper licenses and permits, following packaging and labeling requirements, and complying with advertising and marketing guidelines. Many of which get confusing, muddled, and contradictory as they relate to online advertising, age restricting, payments, and third-party platforms.


In addition to complying with these standard regulations, cannabis e-commerce businesses must also navigate the unique challenges of online sales. This includes verifying the age and identity of customers, ensuring secure online transactions, and maintaining strict inventory controls.



Additionally, many markets further restrict cannabis advertising and sales to online only with caveats in:

  1. 21+ opt in feature in order to access your website
  2. Legal disclaimers for your website
  3. Online menu restrictions and product disclaimers.
  4. Pre-orders for in-store fulfillment 
  5. Cannabis deliveries and purchases 
  6. Merchandise and give-aways
  7. Loyalty programs
  8. Social media compliance

Additionally, one of the most important aspects of compliance in cannabis e-commerce is data security. With sensitive customer information being collected and stored online, businesses must take extra precautions to ensure that this information is secure and protected from potential breaches and HIPPA law may apply to sensitive patient data.

To help ensure compliance and protect their businesses, many cannabis companies engaged in e-commerce are turning to iComply to vet their processes, systems, and softwares for state to state compliance. These solutions provide a centralized platform for managing compliance tasks and monitoring potential risks, helping businesses to stay on top of their regulatory obligations and avoid costly violations.

Overall, while the rise of e-commerce presents new challenges for the cannabis industry, it also provides new opportunities for growth and expansion. By prioritizing compliance and investing in the right tools and resources, cannabis e-commerce businesses can ensure a successful and sustainable future. Contact us for compliance support today!