After nearly seven years of shipping our products worldwide, we suddenly found barriers of entry to a host of countries, as one by one, the countries are blocking CBD imports. We understand the need for the countries to protect their own commerce (I suppose), but we also need to do something about it.
We wish we could quickly sprout orders in those countries, and have the products made locally, as they should be. We wish we didn’t have to burn fossil fuels to get our products to the people and more local enclaves would reduce that ecological impact.
We can’t, however, simply sprout enclaves in new countries. The process takes time. Sister Maria has been working as a lone missionary in New Zealand for many years, awaiting enlightenment from the lawmakers and ultimately, giving up, and making plans now to join us in California. Sister Rosa in Sweden lives where you still get arrested for possession of a hemp seed.
Progress is slow on the international front.
Thirty-five percent of the small businesses have gone out of business in America. We don’t have people knocking on our doors anymore, to ask to sell our products. The pandemic interrupted what little progress we had made on that front. We had to find another way.
In the last months of 2021, we opened an ETSY store. In the first month of the new year, we opened a Shopify store. But why manage three stores? It’s not something we set out to do, but shipping restrictions, silly, arbitrary, restrictions, have given us no choice.
In order to have the privilege of credit card billing on our store, we have to keep all signs and symbols of smoking, all signs and symbols of stoner culture, off our store. We don’t mind. None of that is necessary for what we do. None of that is part of our brand.
However, during Covid, the craft-yurt came alive with miniatures reflecting the lives of the Sisters and of course, that means there are miniature weed-trays with miniature scissors, and miniature bongs and miniature pipes, and miniature joints and miniature salves, and miniature mushroom coffee tins. And though the last two items can be sold on our store, the other items cannot.
Thus, our primary store restricts us from showing any kind of smoking paraphernalia, even if it is part of a doll diorama.
Our primary store also restricts us from providing subscription services to our customers, many clamoring to have their pain relief products sent automatically, and at a discount.
On ETSY, we can sell anything that comes out of our craft yurt, but we can’t sell any CBD products. ETSY’s position is hostile toward CBD, but friendly to hemp, so they do allow CBD salve and tinctures to be sold, they must just be called ‘hemp’, with no mention of the medicinal compounds inside that come from the hemp plant.
On Shopify, we can sell everything. The chart below shows the restrictions by store and feature.